Facts about Sunscreens
- Everyone needs sunscreen!
- Many studies have found an association between sunburns and enhanced risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
- You should wear a broad-spectrum (protects again UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 all year.
- SPF stands for sun protection factor. This rating is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on sunscreen-protected skin to the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on unprotected skin.
- Sunscreen should be applied to exposed skin even if not going outdoors. UVA rays can penetrate window glass, leaving you prone to its damaging effects if unprotected.
- Sunscreens should be applied before make-up
- Use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
- Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15-20 minutes BEFORE going outdoors. Apply to all exposed areas-paying particular attention to the face, ears, hands, and arms.
- One ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly.
- Apply a lip balm with a SPF of 30 or higher. Lips can get sunburned too.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily. Even “waterproof” sunscreens need to be reapplied after swimming and toweling off.
- Wear protective clothing (long-sleeve shirts, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat) when outdoors.
- Seek shade. Especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
For more information on this and other topics, visit www.aad.org and www.skincancermohssurgery.org