means being outside, whether itís at the beach, a street
festival or just in the backyard.
as it might feel to soak up the sun, doctors warn that people
need to take more seriously their use of sunscreen to avoid
premature aging or worse ó skin cancer.
getting a little easier to do that.
new rules from the Food and Drug Administration took effect
governing label information regarding sunscreen. Included in
the new rules are defining the term "broad
spectrum," which means a sunscreen offers protection from
both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) in
proportional amounts. Before, sunscreens did not address UVA
radiation, which causes skin cancer and early aging but not
necessarily the telltale signs of sunburn.
claims such as "waterproof," "sweatproof"
or "sunblock" are no longer allowed.
Lunder, senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group,
said despite greater awareness of the damage sun can do and
products with higher sun protection factors (SPF), melanoma
rates are still increasing. Melanoma is one of the most deadly
forms of skin cancer.
one really knows why," she said. "We think
mismarketing of sunscreen really contributes to that problem
by giving consumers the idea that they can rely on sunscreen
and be out all day safely in the sun. People misuse sunscreen
and get more sunburns, not fewer."
use. Dermatologists said thereís a lot of sunscreen misuse,
and the biggest problem is most people donít use enough.
uses enough, ever, ever, ever. Youíre supposed to use one
ounce, which is as much as a shot glass to cover all of your
exposed body areas," said Dr. Jason Reichenberg, vice
chair at the University of Texas Southwestern at Austin
department of dermatology.
at least 15 minutes before going out, and that amount needs to
be reapplied every two hours ó more often if the person is
sweating a lot or swimming, he said.
sunscreen on a cloudy day too. "You can still get a bad
sunburn on a cloudy day as the ultraviolet rays still pass
through," said Dr. Elizabeth Martin, a dermatologist with
Pure Dermatology & Aesthetics, in Hoover, Ala.
"sun smart" is just as important as sunscreen use,
Martin and Reichenberg said. That includes trying to avoid the
sun between the hottest time of the day, which is usually
between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., wearing a wide-brimmed hat,
sunglasses and preferably long pants and long-sleeved shirts,
forgoing sunscreen to get vitamin D exposure from the sun is a
bad idea, the dermatologists stressed. Instead, take a
supplement or eat foods rich in vitamin D like fatty fish, or
drink fortified orange juice.
never, ever go to a tanning booth. "Itís a myth to get
a Ďbase tan,í" Martin said. "All you do is
damage the skin."
buy. For over-the-counter sunscreens, the dermatologists
recommend buying a broad spectrum with an SPF of at least 30.
Additionally, the dermatologists and Lunder say the
mineral-based sunscreens, those with zinc oxide and/or
titanium dioxide, offer the best coverage.
chemical-based sunscreens, a key ingredient is avobenzone,
which is one of the best UV filters. However, Lunder said it
breaks down quickly, which is why sunscreen needs to be
over-the-counter brands the dermatologists recommend are
Aveeno, CeraVe, Cetaphil and Neutrogena. The Environmental
Working Groupís website has a searchable database based on
different types of sunscreens.
spray sunscreens are popular with parents, the experts frown
on these because itís difficult to tell if the sunscreen was
properly applied, not to mention the chance of inhaling the
can be used the next year, but, "if you have a bottle
left from last year, you didnít use enough," Martin