June 27, 2014

Pregnant Women Should Be Choosy About Sunscreen

Pregnant women should use caution when selecting a sunscreen. Some sunscreens contain retinyl palmitate, an ingredient that could increase the risk of birth defects.

It’s a topical form of Vitamin A that the skin converts to retinoids. And those compounds, which are also found in certain acne medications, have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects.

When checking labels, note that the ingredient is something spelled retinol palmitate and has several synonyms, including vitamin A palmitate and retinol hexadecanoate.

Most sunscreens contain some chemicals associated with adverse effects in animal studies. They include oxybenzone, which might interfere with hormones in your body, and nano-sized ingredients, which are potentially linked to reproductive and developmental problems.

Nevertheless, the proven benefits of sunscreen outweigh any potential harm from the ingredients.

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. More than 70,000 people get it each year. Visit www.baptisthealth.com to learn how you can prevent skin cancer.

Learn More.