Summer Sunscreen Tips
Who needs sunscreen?
Everyone. Sunscreen use can help prevent skin cancer by protecting you from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender or race. In fact, it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
• FDA is now regulating sunscreens.
• All products will need to be Broad Spectrum covering both UVA and UVB rays along with SPF. All to be on front of bottle.
• All sunscreen with have expiration date on back
• All water resistance claims on front of label must tell time that will get SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating.
• Manufactures can't make claims of waterproof or sweatproof. They are not allowed to identify their products as sunblocks because none proof that the lotions can actually block sun
• Sunscreens with SPF 2-14 will be labeled with a warning. Any sunscreen with SPF less than 15 will only help prevent sunburn and not protect against skin cancer or early aging.
What type of sunscreen should I use?
The best type of sunscreen is the one you will use again and again. Just make sure it offers broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant.
The kind of sunscreen you use is a matter of personal choice, and may vary depending on the area of the body to be protected. Available sunscreen options include lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks and sprays:
• Creams are best for dry skin and the face.
• Gels are good for hairy areas, such as the scalp or male chest.
• Sticks are good to use around the eyes.
• Sprays are sometimes preferred by parents since they are easy to apply to children. Make sure to use enough of these products to thoroughly cover all exposed skin. Do not inhale these products or apply near heat, open flame or while smoking.
• There also are sunscreens made for specific purposes, such as for sensitive skin and babies. No baby under 6 months of age should be exposed to sun. After 6 months of age, sunscreen can be applied if needed.
• Some sunscreen products are also available as combination products in moisturizers and cosmetics. While these products are convenient, they will need to be reapplied in order to achieve the best sun protection.
• Don't forget sunglasses for eye protection. The sun glasses should cover board spectrum UV rays with maximum protection.
Is a high-number SPF better than a low-number one?
Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun's rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun's rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun's rays. Currently, there is not any scientific evidence that indicates using a sunscreen with an SPF higher than 50 can protect you better than a sunscreen with an SPF of 50.
How much sunscreen should I use, and how often should I apply it?
• Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
• Follow the guideline of "1 ounce, enough to fill a shot glass," which dermatologists consider the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body.
• Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
• Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle.
How do I treat a sunburn?
• It's important to begin treating a sunburn as soon as possible. In addition to stopping further UV exposure, dermatologists recommend treating a sunburn with: Cool baths to reduce the heat.
• Moisturizer to help ease the discomfort caused by dryness. As soon as you get out of the bathtub, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then apply a moisturizer to trap the water in your skin.
• Hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription to help ease discomfort.
• Aspirin or ibuprofen. This can help reduce the swelling, redness and discomfort.
• Drinking extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water prevents dehydration.
• Allow the blisters to heal untouched. Blisters form to help your skin heal and protect you from infection.
• If the blisters cover a large area, such as the entire back, or you have chills, a headache or a fever, seek immediate medical care.
Susan Hoover, NP
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My goal is to be your Age Management Retreat. Ladies, I speak your Age! I'm 60 (!) and have encountered, or will soon, the aging skin issues we 'd like to avoid.