The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking steps to help protect consumers from skin damage caused by excessive sun exposure.
Download a PDF from FDA
showing the new sunscreen labels.
The new measures include the following:
final regulations that establish standards for testing the effectiveness of sunscreen products and require labeling that accurately reflects test results
a proposed regulation that would limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labeling to “SPF 50+”
These "candles"—hollow cones that are about 10 inches long and made from a fabric tube soaked in beeswax, paraffin, or a mixture of the two—are being marketed as treatments for a variety of conditions. These conditions include ear wax buildup, sinus infections, hearing loss, headaches, colds, flu, and sore throats.
Marketers of ear candles claim that warmth created by the lit device produces suction that draws wax and other impurities out of the ear canal.
"Some ear candles are offered as products that purify the blood, strengthen the brain, or even 'cure' cancer," says Eric Mann, M.D., Ph.D., clinical deputy director of FDA's Division of Ophthalmic, Neurological, and Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices.
He adds that some firms claim the candles are appropriate for use on children.
But FDA warns that ear candles can cause serious injuries, even when used in accordance to manufacturers' directions. "Also," says Mann, "FDA believes that there is no valid scientific evidence for any medical benefit from their use."
Burns and Other Risks
Mann says that ear candling—the procedure is also called "ear coning" and "thermal auricular therapy"—exposes the recipient to risks such as
starting a fire
burns to the face, ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear
injury to the ear from dripping wax
ears plugged by candle wax
puncture of the eardrum
delay in seeking needed medical care for underlying conditions such as sinus and ear infections, hearing loss, cancer, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. (TMJ disorders often cause headache and painful sensations in the area of the ear, jaw, and face).
Even many promoters of ear candles warn potential users to have the procedure done by an experienced "candler," and to not use the candles on themselves.
Ear candling involves placing the candle in the outer ear, usually while the recipient lies on his or her side. It is also done with the recipient sitting upright.