Sunscreens are a hot topic in the news after the major aerosol sunscreen recall due to traces of carcinogens.
Now the ingredient that caused the recall was not listed on the sunscreens, but this highlights why it is so important to know what is in the products we are using.
Unfortunately, if you read the ingredient list of most facial products, including sunscreens, they have a laundry list of hard to pronounce words that you have most likely never heard of. It can be difficult to know which of the products can have side effects or not.
When it comes to our hair, recent research has shown that we should really be more conscientious about the products we are using. We have been seeing an increased incidence in scarring alopecia in women and current research is showing that the products we are using may play a role in this.
Scarring alopecia is still rare, but it is more difficult to treat and with this type of hair loss, once the follicle is damaged and the scarring occurs, you cannot bring that hair back, which makes it very difficult to treat. While the research on the rise of scarring alopecia is still ongoing and not definitive, some of it is pointing to some of the common ingredients found in popular sunscreens, titanium dioxide.
Now I need to make two important points, especially as I put sunscreen on my face every day. First, sunscreens are life-saving products, and I am in no way advocating not using them. We just want to make sure that we are using the right ones and using them properly. Secondly, just because someone uses a product that contains an ingredient that we believe may play a role in the increase in scarring alopecia does not mean they will get scarring alopecia. There is believed to be a genetic component to this, where a small group of people are genetically predisposed to react to these ingredients.
Here are my recommendations when it comes to sunscreen:
With summer still going strong, make sure to grab the sunscreen to protect your skin and make sure to grab the right one to protect your hair.
Posted by Dr. Mary Wendel