Q:

Do sunscreen pills work?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Newsmax Health, sunscreen pills can help to stop sunburn, but they do not prevent skin cancer. Dr. Rebecca Tung, division director of dermatology at Loyola University Medical Center, states that sunscreen pills may offer additional protection against the sun when used in conjunction with topical sunscreen, but she advises against using the pills in place of traditional sunscreen products.

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Full Answer

Sunscreen pills such as Fernblock, Sunpill and Heliocare all contain extracts of the herb Polypodium leucotomos, which is found in cabbage leaf plants, notes Newsmax Health. Dr. Tung explains that sunscreen pills work because they have strong antioxidant properties, are anti-inflammatory in nature and help to prevent cellular damage in the body. However, they are not as effective as topical sunscreens because their effectiveness depends on how well they are absorbed by the body, and each person absorbs supplements differently.

To best protect against sun damage from UV rays, Dr. Tung recommends using a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen every day, including cloudy and rainy days, reapplying sun screen every two hours and avoiding sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm. Additionally, wearing a hat and protective clothing is also advised. Tinted sunglasses can be used to protect your eyes from UV rays.

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