Research. Educate. Advocate.

To support medical RESEARCH for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma. To EDUCATE patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. To act as an ADVOCATE for the melanoma community to raise the awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma.

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The Facts

News, statistics and interesting sun and melanoma related facts!


Well, it's only taken the FDA thirty-three short years to require more clarification on sunscreen labels.  So, are these new rulings gonna' actually help you?  Yes and no.  Here are the most relevant rulings which will be implemented by summer 2012...
  • Sunscreens must pass the FDA's broad spectrum test, which looks at a sunscreen's UVA* protection relative to it's UVB**, in order for it to be labeled as a "Broad Spectrum" sunscreen.  
  • Only sunscreens with SPF's of 15+ will be able to claim a reduced risk for skin cancer and early skin aging.  
  • Broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF's of 2-14 can only state protection against sunburn.
  • Sunscreen manufacturers can no longer use the terms "waterproof", "sweat-proof" or "sunblock" since they overstate effectiveness.
  • "Water-resist" sunscreens must specifically label effective for 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating.
  • Sunscreens cannot claim to provide protection for longer than 2 hours without reapplication or claim "immediate protection" without submitting data to support the claims and getting FDA approval.
While most of these new rules will be helpful in clarifying confusing labels, I worry that the 'Broad Spectrum" seal of approval will give many people a false sense of security.  For people like me, people most sensitive to the sun and buying the most sunscreen (hopefully), UVA protection is key.  Despite the importance of explicit UVA labeling, these new rules still don't provide a specific UVA rating system.  In 2007, a one to four star rating system was proposed, but apparently due to feedback that the star system would be too confusing, they threw-out the idea and went with the UVA/UVB radiation proportional.  The way I understand it, using the new UV rating system, a higher SPF (which has to do with UVB protection) means higher protection against UVA.  -I'm sorry that the "star" rating system seemed overwhelming to some, but COME ON!  If you can't understand that four stars are better than one then...

* UVA=aging and cancer causing rays

**UVB=burning rays