Sunscreen Questions and Answers

August 11, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Learn how to protect yourself and your family from the sun and summer heat with the questions and answers below.

When should you apply sunscreen?

Experts advise applying sunscreen 15 minutes before you go out so it can bind to your skin. Apply it too late and it won’t have staying power; too early and you’ll need to reapply it sooner.

How much sunscreen should you apply to your arms, legs and face?

The recommended amount is no less than one ounce. Studies show that most people apply only half of this amount. If you spend the day at the beach, you should use around one half to one quarter of an eight ounce bottle.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

Apply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are in the water or sweating a lot and after towel drying. Reapply it often.

Do all sunscreens protect skin against the sun’s UVA rays?

Most sunscreens claim to be “broad spectrum,” implying that they protect skin from damaging UVA radiation as well as UVB burning rays. But EWG has found that many fall short, and half of products would fail the European Union broad-spectrum test.

What’s the best way to protect your skin if you have to be outside on a sunny day?

Wear a wide-brimmed hat, wear a light, long-sleeved shirt, and avoid going outside when the sun’s rays are strongest – between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If I wear SPF 100, can I stay out in the sun as long as I want?

Don’t fall for high SPF labels. Anything higher than SPF 50 can tempt you to stay in the sun too long. Even if you don’t burn, your skin may be damaged. Stick to SPFs between 15 and 50. Pick a product based on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover.

Do melanomas occur only on sun-exposed skin?

Although melanomas often occur on the back, legs, arms and face, they also appear on unexposed areas like the palms, soles of the feet and in between fingers and toes. These are called hidden melanomas because people do not usually check for them.

If you had a few bad sunburns as a child, does your lifetime risk of developing skin cancer increase?

One blistering sunburn before the age of 18 can double the risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. The best sunscreen is a hat and shirt. After that, protect yourself with a sunscreen that’s effective and safe.

Source: Environmental Working Group

Entry filed under: Managing your health, To Your Health.

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