As I write this, today's ultraviolet (UV) index is 10. Actually, it has been "10" for several days in a row now. I know this because I have subscribed to the Environmental Protection Agency's SunWise e-mail service called EnviroFlash, which tells me every day what the UV index will be for my zip code. Despite being involved in dermatology nursing for over 10 years, I find that it is sometimes nice to have a daily reminder of why sun safety is so important. There are a variety of ways one can learn about the UV index in their area, such as the Environmental Protection Agency's SunWise Web site, The Weather Channel, and the local news reports and newspapers, just to name a few. What is important is that we know; we need to know for ourselves and also for the many patients we see each day. Knowing why we recommend sun safety measures, even on an overcast day or a cooler weather, is an important part of our job.
No discussion of sun safety is complete without talking about sunscreen. This is a topic that fascinates me, from both a clinical perspective and a consumer perspective. The science of sunscreens is astounding, but so is the consumer reaction to these products. I see information about sunscreens not only in professional publications but also in a variety of consumer publications, so I know that this is something we are all interested in. I will admit that there is likely quite a bit of confusion when discussing the details of sunscreen: phrases and words like "sun protection factor," "waterproof," "water resistant," "safe on sensitive skin," "broad spectrum," and "SPF 100+." Be honest, do all of us know what these terms really mean and what the implications are for both ourselves and our patients?
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Recently, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement about sunscreen and labeling. To help us understand these recent rulings and their implications for both ourselves and our patients, I have asked Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, MSN, RN, to write a guest editorial for this issue. Ms. Maguire-Eisen is uniquely qualified to write this piece because she is considered an expert on sunscreen, having founded the Children's Melanoma Prevention Foundation, as well as having been a past member of the Dermatology Nurses' Association Board of Directors.
I anticipate that the following information will generate good discussions within our practices and with our patients, and I would especially welcome letters to the Editor pertaining to these types of conversations.
I would like to introduce a new column that is titled "Clinical Pearls." This section of the Journal is designed for practicing nurses to write about clinical information they think other readers may benefit from. Some of these will be in the "how I do it in my practice" vein, and some will be more evidence based. Either way, I anticipate good dialogue will be generated with some of these pieces. I see this as good for the state of dermatology nursing; it means we still have lots to talk about and lots to research!
And the last order of business this month is to introduce Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP, who has been named to the JDNA Editorial Board as Digital Development Editor. This is a role she has been slowly easing into, having worked with the JDNA-since April 2010. At this point, the JDNA is poised to strengthen our online presence, and over the next few months, you will notice Ms. Bonsall working to use social media to its full extent for the benefit of the JDNA. She is, of course, interested in working with any readers who may feel called to participate in the JDNA in this way. Please join me in welcoming her.
We are all looking forward to hearing from you.
Angela L. Borger