Sunscreen and Lotion Health News

Sunscreens are products for the skin to protect it from the harmful effects of sunlight exposure. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays inflict damage to the skin, and sunscreens contain ingredients that can help block this exposure. Most sunscreens come in a lotion form that gets rubbed on the skin, though there are also sunscreens sold as gels, sprays and wax sticks.

What to Look for in a Sunscreen

There are a lot of sunscreens on the market, so choosing the right one can be confusing. To simplify the process, the American Academy of Dermatology has three basic recommendations. First, a sunscreen should offer broad-spectrum protection, which means that it protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Second, it should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. And third, it should be water resistant.

The SPF of a sunscreen refers to how effective it is at blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays. No sunscreen can block 100 percent of rays, but a sunscreen with SPF 30 will block a higher percentage than a sunscreen with SPF 15. As far as other ingredients, sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide might be useful for children or those with sensitive skin. These ingredients have been shown to be safe and cause less irritation. Sunscreen should not be applied at all to infants 6 months or younger.

The right sunscreen varies from person to person, based on activities and exposure to the sun. For example, people who work outdoors may prefer a strong, beachwear-type sunscreen that is extremely water resistant. But these tend to be stickier and difficult to use with makeup, so they may not be the best choice for everyday wear for some people. Also, sprays are sometimes preferred by parents due to their ease of application, but it’s important to make sure to apply a sufficient amount. Also, sprays should not be applied around the face or mouth due to concerns about inhalation. For these areas, the sunscreen can be sprayed into the hand and then rubbed onto the body.

How to Apply Sunscreen

When it comes to applying sunscreen, everyone should be doing it for every sun exposure, regardless of the amount of exposure or skin color. Also, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, regardless of the strength or type of sunscreen. In addition, other measures should be taken to protect the skin from the sun, like wearing protective hats and clothing and avoiding direct sun exposure during the sunniest portions of the day if possible.

SOURCES: Skin Cancer Foundation; American Academy of Dermatology

Date Posted
Article Title
10/19/2017
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8/11/2017
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7/27/2017
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Squamous cell carcinoma is far more common and also dangerous if untreated, dermatologist says

7/25/2017
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7/17/2017
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6/27/2017
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Pick a sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB light, skin specialist advises

6/24/2017
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Pack sun protection and any medications you need, FDA says

6/23/2017
A Baby's Skin No Match for the Sun

Shade, clothes and hats offer little ones safe protection, pediatric dermatologist says

6/18/2017
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Pediatricians offer advice on preventing sunburns, other warm weather problems

6/12/2017
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6/11/2017
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Doctor shares tips for prevention, recognition

5/16/2017
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3/3/2017
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Skin cancer rates rising in this group, dermatologist warns

2/17/2017
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Be aware of unusual health risks in the Caribbean and Central and South America, doctor advises

10/12/2016
Indoor Tanners Aren't Taking Precautions Against Skin Cancer

Researchers conclude most are in denial about the health risks

8/2/2016
Ban on Indoor Tanning by Minors Not Working: Study

Tanning salon use showed little change after 2013 ban, and rose among N.J. high school boys

7/8/2016
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Follow these expert tips for safe cookouts and sunburn prevention

7/8/2016
Sunscreen Guidelines

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7/6/2016
4 in 10 Popular Sunscreens Don't Meet Sun Safety Standards: Study

Biggest problem with products was lack of resistance to sweat or water

6/16/2016
Baby Your Baby With Sunscreen

For starters, apply it at least 15 minutes before heading out, pediatrician advises

6/12/2016
Don't Get Caught Without Your Sunscreen

Doctor says many people don't know how much to use

5/29/2016
Sun Protection Comes in Many Forms

Thorough and frequent application of sunblock is crucial, expert says

5/27/2016
6 Sun Safety Tips for 'Don't Fry Day'

National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds you to avoid unprotected sun exposure

5/19/2016
'Sunscreen' Gene May Guard Against Skin Cancer

Researchers hope their discovery will lead to preventive drugs

4/28/2016
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Dermatologist offers advice on how to prevent, detect any abnormalities

4/18/2016
Sunscreen Delays Melanoma in Mice, Researchers Say

Study results suggest scientists can use mice to find better ways to prevent deadly skin cancer in humans

4/6/2016
Gene May Raise Melanoma Risk, Even Without Sun Exposure

Variant of gene linked to skin pigmentation tied to higher chance of deadly skin cancer in study

12/18/2015
FDA Proposes Tanning Bed Ban for Minors

Agency also wants those over 18 to sign papers stating they know health risks before using the beds

10/21/2015
B Vitamin May Help Ward Off Some Skin Cancers

Study found high-risk patients who took nicotinamide daily developed fewer non-melanoma lesions

8/14/2015
Serving in Middle East May Raise Skin Cancer Risk in U.S. Vets

Study cites limited use of sun protection, lack of awareness

7/16/2015
New Dumb-But-Deadly Trend: Sunburn 'Art'

Experts warn against the dangers of the increasingly popular practice

5/19/2015
Most Americans Still Not Using Sunscreen

Women do so more than men, but still fall short of recommendations, CDC study finds

5/14/2015
Many Animals Armed With Built-In Sun Block: Study

Clues sought for better solar-protection products for people

4/13/2015
Tan Skin Is Damaged Skin

Dermatologist stresses there is no safe amount of sunning time

3/24/2015
Athletes Need to Guard Against Skin Woes

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2/19/2015
Sun's Damage Lingers Long After Dark

UV rays cause DNA-related harm to skin cells, study finds

11/10/2014
Skin Cancer Costs Soar Compared to Other Malignancies: CDC

Findings underscore importance of prevention efforts

10/29/2014
Many U.S. Colleges Have Indoor Tanning Salons On, Near Campus: Study

Universities should ban them because of skin cancer risk, researchers say

9/19/2014
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Soldiers might not have regular access to sunscreen, research reveals

8/21/2014
Fewer U.S. Teens Using Sunscreen, Study Finds

Warnings about sun exposure and skin cancer aren't getting through, experts say

8/2/2014
Shield Yourself From the Sun

Expert offers tips on avoiding, treating sunburn

5/26/2014
Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Cover up or slather on the sunscreen to protect skin from the sun, even on cloudy says, advise experts

5/11/2014
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Most lesions are treatable if caught early, says expert

3/23/2014
College Women: Have a Healthy Spring Break

FDA has tips on sun safety, medication, staying hydrated and more

2/17/2014
Beauty, Not Health May Spur Teens to Use Sunscreen

Tanning's damaging effect on looks mattered more to teens than skin cancer risks, study found

2/14/2014
Indoor Tanning Laws Help Keep Teen Girls Away, Study Finds

In states that had some restrictions in place, use of tanning beds dropped 30 percent

1/20/2014
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Researchers figure out why, suggest not getting enough might raise risk for heart disease

10/2/2013
Skin Cancer Patients Not Avoiding Sun, Study Suggests

Danish researchers looked at exposure after melanoma diagnosis

9/5/2013
Health Tip: Help Sun-Damaged Skin

Apply sunscreen daily