You are warned: 'Sunscreen pills' don't work - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

You are warned: 'Sunscreen pills' don't work

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The FDA says "sunscreen pills" don't protect you from damaging rays. (KTEN) The FDA says "sunscreen pills" don't protect you from damaging rays. (KTEN)
Rebecca Clements says her family history makes sunscreen use mandatory. (KTEN) Rebecca Clements says her family history makes sunscreen use mandatory. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Summertime means more people hitting the lakes and pools, and are generally spending more time outside.

But have you seen this? Companies are selling "sunscreen pills," using social media to spread the word. They claim that taking these pills will have the same effect as applying traditional sunscreen location.

Sherman dermatologist Dr. Creed Stewart said this is a scam you should avoid.

"Social media is really good for talking to your friends and all that, but it's not a good place for medical information," he said. "They're misinforming the public, so people are taking the pill thinking they're safe, and they go out in the sun. But no — it's just a nutritional supplement like a vitamin. And no there's no truth to that that it would protect your skin."

Creed and other skin experts say there is no pill that can replace sunscreen.

The Food and Drug Administration says the only real way to shield your skin from damaging rays is to apply sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher.

Sun exposure isn't something you want to take lightly. It can lead to fatal consequences.

"The risk of melanoma in young girls in their 20s has like tripled in the last decade," Creed said. "There's more skin cancers than breast cancer, prostate, colon — all combined."

Rebecca Clements' family knows that all too well.

"My grandmother had skin cancer; my ex-husband, their dad had skin cancer; and their grandfather, their grandmother had skin cancer," she said. That's why her loved ones always apply sunscreen every day.

"It is a staple in the house. They all know they have to wear it. We are religious [about it] she said. 

The FDA has issued a warning about sunscreen pills, telling consumers to steer clear of them. They've also sent letters to four companies that market the pills — Advanced Skin Brightening Formula, Sunsafe RX, Solaricare and Sunergetic — ordering them to stop making false claims.

"That's not cool," Clements said. "People can get seriously hurt and lives can be seriously damaged."

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