FDA Provides Burn Warning on Sunscreen Sprays
While sunscreen sprays are convenient, they also can pose a big risk, particularly for those who plan on spending time near barbecue grills. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued consumera updatewarning the public of the burn risk that comes with using sprays.
The agency was prompted to issue the warning after becoming aware of five incidents in which people suffered significant burns after using sprays and then getting too close to open flames. The burns happened after application. They received their burns after lighting a cigarette, approaching a grill, standing close to a lit citronella candle, and doing welding work. While the specific products that were used have already been voluntarily recalled, many sprays currently available on the market contain flammable ingredients, specifically alcohol.
The FDA cautions that these incidents indicate that it’s possible to catch on fire even after you believe that you have waited a sufficient time for the product to dry before going near an open flame or spark.
“Based on this information, we recommend that after you have applied a sunscreen spray labeled as flammable, you consider avoiding being near an open flame, sparks or an ignition source,” said Narayan Nair, M.D., a lead medical officer at the FDA.
Several dermatologists contacted by Daily Glow cautioned that proper sun protection is still a must to reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature skin aging.
“If a consumer is concerned about [the risk of burns from flames , I would recommend that they use traditional sunscreens. Non-spray sunscreens are easy to apply, and there are new formulations that make them cosmetically elegant to use,” said Dr. Amy Derick, founder and director of Derick Dermatology, LLC.
Dr. David J. Leffell, a David Paige Smith Professor of Dermatology & Surgery Yale School of Medicine, believes that sprays are still beneficial since “the use of sunscreen in any of its many useful formats, including sprays, has been shown to prevent skin cancer and skin aging.” Still, he noted that it’s “important to follow label instructions carefully and use the sunscreen product in the way in which it was intended.”
Skin cancer specialist Dr. Ali Hendi adds that while non-spray forms are preferable, “if a spray is the most reliable way to get sunscreen on and there is no chance of exposure to a flame, then it’s absolutely better than not wearing a sunscreen.”
Tell us: Do you prefer to use spray over lotion sunscreens?