Summer sun protection: New rules you need to know

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by DR. WENDY SUE SWANSON

KING

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 7 at 11:09 AM

Exposure to excessive sunshine increases exposure to UV radiation. UVA and UVB radiation increase risk for skin cancer, increases skin aging (WRINKLES!), can cause eye damage and can decrease our skin’s natural immunity.

The best way to decrease risk is to play safely in the sun by using shade, staying out of sun during peak hours (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and using sunscreen on areas you can’t cover up. Choose whatever texture of sunscreen you like (cream, lotion, gel, stick, wipes or spray) as you’ll likely use it more if you love it.

More important than any brand, ingredient or sunscreen claim is how you use sunscreen. Use it early (15 - 20 minutes before outside) and often (every 2 hours).

Health effects of sun:

  • Melanoma rates are rising in children, teens and adults
  • One severe sunburn during childhood doubles the risk of melanoma
  • UVA causes skin Aging
  • UVB causes skin to Burn
  • Any tan or burn is evidence of damage to the skin

New rules for sunscreen:

  • FDA has required new rules for sunscreen labels
  • You need broad spectrum SPF over 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreen covers UVA and UVB rays. (SPF only covers UVB)
  • Apply 20 minutes before going out in sun; re-apply every 2 hours in sun

What parents need to know:

  • Buy whatever texture you like. You’ll use it more
  • Don't use sprays near children’s face
  • Need SPF over 30
  • No sunscreen is waterproof or “playproof” -- Reapply!
  • Use sun-protective clothing whenever you can

Links:

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