Dangers of the SUN
The dangers of the sun…we hear it all the time. But what exactly does that mean?
Not too long ago there was the era of a “Sun Worship Phase” where only sun magnifying products were used to maximize sun exposure. Baby oil, iodine, foil shields, or perching on top of a black shingled roof to lay out…all of this in an attempt to soak up as much sun as the skin could absorb, and most of the time it was too much. Unfortunately, because of this, many people now have irreparable damage to their skin in the form of skin discoloration, pre-mature skin aging, scarring, and unfortunately, skin cancer.
Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five people are diagnosed with skin cancer, and these statistics are also climbing due to the increased ultraviolet exposure from the sun and tanning beds. This same sun exposure is also the contributor to making us look old. The number one cause of pre-mature aging of the skin is not genetic. It is sun exposure.
So what can you do for you and your family? There are several precautions, but one major element than can be easily done is SUNSCREEN. There are so many different types of sunscreen…so where do you start? How much? What kind is best? Below, our specialists at Magnolia Dermatology offer answers to these questions and are here to help you in your journey to healthy skin for you and your family.
When should I use sunscreen?
Preventing these damaging effects of the sun to our skin is actually pretty simple…applying sunscreen EVERYDAY covering every exposed body part. Don’t forget the tops of your feet, back of your neck, your ears, and the top of your head, including any parts in your hair.
How much sunscreen should I use, and how often should I apply it?
Most adults only require one ounce of sunscreen to fully cover their body.
You should give your sunscreen 15 minutes after application to dry before sun exposure.
Sunscreen should be reapplied approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle. Pay specific attention on the effective hours that are on your sunscreen instructions also.
Don't forget your lips. Skin cancer can also form there. Choose your lip balm that has an SPF of 30 or higher, and keep your lips coated.
What type of sunscreen should I use?
The best type of sunscreen is to choose one that you will use again and often. Make sure it offers UVA and UBV broad spectrum protection, has SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant.
Choosing a cosmetic/makeup product that has sunscreen in it is convenient, however do keep in mind that these products also need to be reapplied in order to have the best sun protection.
We recommend our EltaMD UV Aero for the entire body and UV Daily for the face. (Check out both, here). Regardless of what type of sunscreen is best for you, just make sure that you apply it according to the directions to achieve the best UV protection.
Does sunscreen lose it strength? Do I need to buy a new bottle each year?
We recommend using sunscreen every day when you are outside, not just during the summer. If you are applying it as recommended, your product will never expire.
If you are checking your bottles here are a few guidelines.
All sunscreens should retain their strength for 3 years, unless your bottle has an expiration date. If you bottle has expired, throw it away. If your bottle doesn’t have an expiration date, write the date on the bottle when you purchase it.
Obvious changes in the color or consistency of your sunscreen will be signs that it is no longer good to use.
Your skin is your largest part of your body that needs protection. No matter your age it is always best to start practicing good sun protection habits for yourself and handing down these same habits to your children. Sunscreen is a great start, but it is not your only defense from the sun. Wearing hats, sunglasses, special protective clothing, using sun covering devices such as umbrellas, tents, or seeking shade, and avoiding the most sun intense times of the day which are 10 am to 4 pm are all important in protecting your skin.
It is also important to get to know your skin. Do frequent self-examinations, paying special attention to spots and monitor them for any changes. But just as you and your family go for yearly check-ups for your general health, you need to begin to do the same for your skin with us. At Magnolia Dermatology we can do yearly full body skin examinations. We are able to fully check your skin, and if there are concerning abnormalities, we can catch, remove or treat them early. If you would like to make an appointment for a full body skin screening, call 601-910-3004.
We also carry several varieties of sunscreens for all skin types. You do not have to have an appointment to purchase our products. Just come during business hours, and our staff can answer any questions you may have and help you choose the best product for your protection.