Background: It has been suggested that the use of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer may put the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency, which in turn may lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism, loss of cortical bone and, ultimately, osteoporotic fractures. Objective: To investigate whether sunscreen SPF15 may lead to loss of bone mass. Methods: We followed 10 sunscreen users and 18 controls over 2 years, including two summers, two winters and a basal period (winter). Bone mass was evaluated each season with dual x-ray absorptiometry. Results: During follow-up, mild fluctuations in bone mass could be seen at Ward's site in both groups, without a definitive pattern. At the final visit, no significant loss of bone mass was observed in sunscreen users or in the control group. We did not observe any significant differences between groups throughout the study. Conclusion: Although the study samples in this work are small, and a slight variation in bone mass may not be detected, in a clinical setting, sunscreen SPF15 protection does not seem to increase the risk of osteoporosis. Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel.
- Skin cancer prevention