Purchasing the “correct” sunscreen just got easier. In June 2011 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a change in sunscreen labeling. Why all the fuss? The old labeling system was confusing and misleading. The new system, which takes effect in 2012, will identify the sunscreens that offer the best sun protection. For example, sunscreens that provide protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation are labeled “broad-spectrum,” and those with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher can state that they protect against skin cancer. Look for sunscreens that have “broad-spectrum” on the label and choose one with SPF 15 or higher.
Recent headlines cite increased teen use of tanning devices. Studies show that adolescent exposure to tanning beds increases melanoma risk by 75 percent. Ultraviolet damage accumulates over time; therefore, the earlier and longer the exposure to UV radiation (from tanning devices or the sun), the greater the risk of developing skin cancer.
Florida-based massage therapists see a lot of sun-damaged skin from tanning devices and from insufficient or improper use of sunscreens. We can influence our clients (and our families) by becoming knowledgeable of the facts on skin cancers, tanning, and general skin health. It is within our scope of practice to learn the “ABC’s” of skin cancer, when to refer to a dermatologist, and how to encourage clients and loved-ones to seek medical attention.
This valuable information is discussed in “Benign and Malignant Skin Diseases” workshops offered at the Florida School of Massage. In addition to skin cancer, other interesting topics discussed include fungal diseases, herpes, shingles, lice, and many other common skin diseases. Each disease is presented using Power-point slides, and discusses whether massage is indicated or contraindicated.
The next workshop is August 20-21, 2011. Call Sarah to register at 352-378-7891.
Annie Morien, PhD, PA-C, LMT is a licensed massage therapist and Dermatology Physician Assistant with extensive clinical experience in evaluating and treating patients with various skin diseases. She teaches fun and informative Skin Disease Workshops to massage therapists across the USA. In addition, she is an international speaker and writer for Massage Therapy Journal, Body Sense Magazine, and Skin Deep Magazine, and writes online courses for the AMTA.com and yourCEplace.com. Dr. Morien can be contacted at dr.annie@yourCEplace.com.