Sunscreen insights, photoprotection for different skin phenotypes

During an HCPLive interview on its 2023 Winter Clinical Dermatology conference presentation, Henry Lim, MD, talked more about recent photoprotection data for darker and lighter skin phenotypes.

Lim is known for his work as a dermatologist and as Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

He first talked about the differences between ingredients in sunscreens and the types of ultraviolet radiation they each protect against. Antioxidants were put forward as another protective measure.

“The reason why antioxidants are becoming important is that we now recognize that sunlight would trigger the production of antioxidants or reactive oxygen species on the skin,” Lim said. “Therefore, adding antioxidants would help to reduce the effect of reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species are known to be one of the mediators of the development of pigment changes on the skin.”

Lim summarized some key points that have been made regarding protecting the skin from sun exposure.

“The part I do want to emphasize is that when we talk about border security, we’re essentially talking about the whole package of border security,” he said. “That means staying outside in the shade, wearing photo-protective clothing, wearing wide-brimmed hats, wearing sunglasses and – only in the sun-exposed zone – applying sunscreen. Sunscreen is thus an important and integral part of border control. However, it is only one part, it is not the only part of photo protection.”

Lim also pointed out that advances in his field have led clinicians to now target specific genes in individuals to promote photoprotection for different phenotypes.

“So this is the same concept,” he said. “With personalized photoprotection, photoprotection recommendations should be tailored to the individual patient, depending on their skin color, depending on how dark their skin is.”

Lim later also discussed the differences between the regulations in Europe and the US for the UV filters of sunscreens.

He stated that users’ options are “much more flexible in terms of getting new UV filters, new ingredients and active ingredients to be approved in Europe, compared to the United States. In the US we currently have 17 UV filters…under FDA monograph and FDA approved UV filters there are 17. In Europe they are 29.”

Check out the interview section above to learn more about the information Lim explored in his Winter Clinical presentation.

Sunscreen insights, photoprotection for different skin phenotypes

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