Sun Screen Facts
NOT all sunscreens reduce the risk of skin cancer.
All sunscreens help prevent sunburn, but only some may help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher to help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect your skin from both kinds of harmful rays — ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). The FDA is requiring sunscreen labels to list the protection they offer.
How long can you keep sunscreen?
The Food and Drug Administration requires that sunscreens keep their strength for at least three years, but if you are using it every day and in the correct amount, a bottle should not last that long. Check the bottle for an expiration date and throw it out if that date has passed. Changes in the color or consistency of the sunscreen mean it’s time to buy a new bottle.
How much sunscreen should you put on – Pea size, or shot glass full?
You might think an ounce of sunscreen — enough to fill a shot glass — sounds like a lot. But consider this: Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. The amount you actually need depends on your body size, but you should coat all exposed skin.
Use sunscreen every day, even when you won’t be outside. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors (or before leaving the house) and re-apply about every two hours while in the sun or after swimming or sweating heavily.
While baseball caps can cover your head, where most skin cancers grow, they leave your cheeks, chin and other areas exposed. Choose a hat with a brim at least three inches wide, ideally with a brim that angles downwards. Wearing bright or dark clothing also gives you more protection than light clothes.
Which should you apply 1st ?moisturizer, bug spray or sun tan lotion?
If you are using sunscreen and bug spray, you should apply the sunscreen first, followed by the bug repellent. If sunscreen is applied after the bug repellent, both become less effective.
When it comes to moisturizers, you should apply them before putting on the sunscreen. You can then apply makeup. Always follow directions on the label.
Most experts say sunscreen is safe
The American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation both say sunscreen is safe and effective. And claims suggesting otherwise are based on questionable science, the Skin Cancer Foundation says. Researchers who studied more than 1,600 adults over 10 years found that those who applied sunscreen each day reduced their risk of melanoma significantly.
You should always wear sunscreen outside; even if it is cloudy.
To protect your skin from cancers and premature aging, wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses every day, regardless of the weather. Overcast weather won’t protect your skin. About 70-80% of the sun’s rays pass through fog and clouds. Be extra careful around sand, water, snow, or concrete, which magnify the sun’s harmful effects.
One bad sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer
Sunburns can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. One blistering sunburn as a child or teenager more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma — the most serious kind of skin cancer — later in life. Your risk for melanoma also doubles if you have had more than five sunburns at any age. Even a tan is a sign that you have skin cell damage.
People with darker skin do get sunburns and skin cancer
Some people of color have been diagnosed with skin cancer at later stages because of a misconception that only those with lighter skin can develop skin cancer. That happened to legendary reggae musician Bob Marley, who died from an aggressive form of melanoma at age 36. In all races, basal cell carcinoma — the most common skin cancer — is usually linked to sun exposure.
How should you treat a sunburn? Take a lukewarm bath, apply benzocaine, drink extra water
A sunburn draws fluid to the skin’s surface, away from the rest of the body. It’s important to drink extra water to prevent dehydration. Taking a cool bath can help reduce heat; leave a little water on your skin after the bath and apply a moisturizer to trap the water in your skin. You shouldn’t treat sunburn with benzocaine or any other “-caine” product.
Hydrocortisone cream can help ease discomfort.
Why do more people have skin cancer on the left side of their body?
Think twice the next time you drive with your arm hanging out the window. Scientists found that melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma — a rare and dangerous form of cancer — were more likely to grow on the left side of the body than the right, particularly on the arm. The scientists said the likely cause was sun exposure on the driver-side. UVA rays can get through glass.
Skin cancer can grow on skin that has never been exposed to the sun.
The two most common non-melanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are connected to being out in the sun.
These cancers typically grow on the face, ears, and hands, but they have been known to appear on areas of the body that don’t get sun.
SPF and how long is your skin protected by sunscreen?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and measures how long a sunscreen can protect your skin from UVB rays. If it takes 20 minutes for your skin to start turning red without sunscreen, SPF 15 should protect you 15 times longer, or five hours. But no sunscreen lasts longer than two hours without reapplying it, and your skin can be damaged by UVA rays before it turns red.
While sunscreen definitely limits your intake of vitamin D (sometimes known as “the Sunshine Vitamin”), few dermatologists now believe that using sunscreen will make you deficient in the vitamin.
The sun is not the only source of vitamin D. You can get it from eggs, salmon, and enriched milk and orange juice.
People younger than 35 who use tanning devices increase their risk of melanoma by 75%. White women ages 18-21 were the most likely to use tanning devices, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Among white adults who had used indoor tanning, more than half the women and 40% of the men said they had done it more than 10 times in a year.
Golf & Sun
If you play golf, you get 3.5 to 5.4 times the amount of UV radiation exposure needed to cause sunburn each hour you are on the course. Water in ponds and sand in sand traps can reflect UV radiation back at you, hitting your skin a second time. Wear sunscreen (don’t forget your ears), sunglasses, long sleeves and pants, and a broad-brimmed hat, and use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Facts from: WebMD