Cosmetic Corner

Sunscreens: Survey of the Cutis Editorial Board

Leading dermatologists from the Cutis Editorial Board answered 5 questions on how to use sunscreens. See what they’re recommending for their patients and why.



To improve patient care and outcomes, leading dermatologists from the Cutis Editorial Board answered 5 questions on sunscreens. Here’s what we found.

What sun protection factor (SPF) do you recommend for the majority of your patients?

Fifty percent of dermatologists we surveyed recommend SPF 30. SPF 50 was recommended by 26%, SPF 50+ by 21%, and SPF 15 by only 2%.

Expert Commentary
Provided by Shari R. Lipner, MD, PhD (New York, New York)

Half of our Editorial Board recommends sunscreen with SPF 30, with many recommending SPF 50 or higher. This trend toward sunscreens with higher SPF is consistent with a survey-based study with 97% of dermatologists stating they were comfortable recommending sunscreens with an SPF of 50 or higher and 83.3% stating that they believe that high SPF sunscreens provide an additional margin of safety (Farberg et al). These trends are supported by a randomized, double-blind, split-face clinical trial in which participants applied either SPF 50+ or SPF 100+ sunscreen after exposure to natural sunlight. The results showed that SPF 100+ sunscreen was remarkably more effective in protecting against sunburn than SPF 50+ sunscreen in actual use conditions (Williams et al).

Next page: Spray sunscreens


Recommended Reading

Melanoma diagnosis does not deter pregnancy
MDedge Dermatology
Nivolumab plus ipilimumab effective in melanoma brain metastases
MDedge Dermatology
Mohs underutilized for melanoma of head and neck
MDedge Dermatology
Reflectance confocal microscopy: The future looks bright
MDedge Dermatology
Skin signs may be good omens during cancer therapy
MDedge Dermatology