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Sunscreen Alert: 6 Ways to Avoid Getting Burned

Sunscreen Alert: 6 Ways to Avoid Getting Burned

  • Using sunscreen appropriately is not as straightforward as it may seem.
  • Just Who Should Wear Sunscreen, Anyway? Persons of all skin colors may get skin cancer from the sun’s UV rays, says the CDC. The most likely ones have: • lighter natural skin color. • skin that burns, freckles, gets red easily, or becomes painful from sun exposure. • blond or red hair. • blue or green eyes. • a family member who has had skin cancer.
  • Sunscreen Use in Short Supply, Survey Says When outside in the sun for more than 1 hour, surveyed women and men reported: • Regular use of sunscreen on both face and other exposed skin: women, 29.9%; men, 14.3%. • Regular use of sunscreen on the face: women, 42.6%; men, 18.1%. • Regular use on other exposed skin: women, 34.4%; men, 19.9%. • Never use sunscreen: women, 27%; men, 43.8%.
  • Applying Sunscreen: Tips from Dermatologists. Choose sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, says the American Academy of Dermatology. • Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. • Use enough sunscreen, for most adults at least 1 oz, and rub thoroughly into the skin. • Apply sunscreen to all bare skin, including neck, face, ears, tops of feet, and legs. • Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.
  • Some Sunscreen Things You May Not Know. There’s no proof that sunscreens prevent most skin cancer, says the EWG. • Sunscreen doesn’t protect skin from all types of sun damage. • Vitamin A, a sunscreen additive, may speed development of skin cancer. • Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies. • Persons who have darker skin and or have limited sun exposure are at greatest risk for vitamin D deficiency.
  • High SPF Can Pose High-level Problems. Sunscreen products with SPF >50 provide only marginally better sunburn protection, the EWG cautions. • Chemicals that form a product’s SPF are intended to block UVB rays. UVA rays are harder to block with FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients. • Because of calculation errors, high SPF products may not really provide high SPF. FDA says: cap SPF values at “50+.” • High SPF products tempt people to apply too little sunscreen and stay in the sun too long. • High SPF products require higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals, some of which may pose health risks.
  • Use Sunscreen Every Day? Bad Idea! Sunscreen is a chemical-based product, like cough syrup. It should be used only when sunburn is possible, says the American Suntanning Association. • The chemicals found in most sunscreen products penetrate beyond the skin and get into the body and bloodstream. • Sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D. Use it only when you need it!

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the most preventable risk factor for all types of skin cancer. But most Americans do not regularly use sunscreen to protect themselves from these damaging rays.

The watchdog Environmental Work Group has published its EWG’s Sunscreen Guide for 2015 with updated and revised sunscreen facts, figures, and recommendations, and various other organizations have provided their own tips and caveats.

These slides summarize the latest sun safety dos and don’ts, providing the most sound and sensible patient education recommendations under the sun.




Good job!

Teri @

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