A Dollop (of Sunscreen) A Day Keeps the Dermatologist Away!
June 18, 2021
Did you know that more cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer cases combined? The majority of these, including the most dangerous type, melanoma, can be prevented with consistent, solid sun protection.
Here are three facts that will help you have an enjoyable and sunburn free summer:
- When looking for a sunscreen, check for one with broad-spectrum protection (blocks both UVA and UVB rays), SPF 30 or higher, and water resistance. Sun protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, light long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sunglasses can minimize exposure as well. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the sun’s rays are the strongest, so seek shade when appropriate.
- Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before sun exposure. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends one ounce of sunscreen (a full shot glass!) is sufficient for your entire body. It is ideal to re-apply every two hours, and don’t forget about your lips!
- Use sunscreen even on cloudy days, as up to 80% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can penetrate and cause damage. Be mindful that snow, sand, and sun all reflect the sun’s rays! If you are concerned that you may not be getting enough Vitamin D, you can discuss healthy food options with your doctor or consult the AAD’s Vitamin D fact sheet using the link below. https://www.aad.org/media/stats-vitamin-d
Now you are ready to have some summer fun! The most crucial fact in sun protection is finding a brand you like and using it. The expensive stuff may sit on the shelf all year, so don’t break the bank (and then not use it)! If you get a sunburn, take frequent cool showers or baths, use an aggressive moisturizer with aloe vera, drink extra water, and consider some anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. Best of luck this summer!
About the Author: Gregory Simpson, MD is board certified in Dermatology and provides services at University Dermatology Associates. Dr. Simpson holds a faculty appointment with University of California, San Francisco in the UCSF Fresno Department of Internal Medicine.
To learn more about Dr. Simpson and University Dermatology Associates, click here.