NEW YORK (CNN) – Whether you're preparing for a day on the beach or an outdoor picnic this summer, make sure sunscreen is on your to-do list.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer In the United States, UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor. But according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults in 2014 reported sunburn, the skin's natural response to UV damage last year.
Here's what you need to know Protect your skin from damage.
A common misconception is that the only way to protect against UV radiation is by wearing sunscreen, says Dawn Holman, a behavioral researcher at the CDC's Department of Cancer Prevention and Control. Instead, she recommends using a "layering" approach: sunscreen combined with staying in the shade and wearing denim clothing, sunglasses and wide-brimmed hat.
UV light comes in two forms: UVA rays, which tend to cause premature aging of the skin, known as photoageing, and UVB rays, which typically cause skin cancer and sunburn. SPF, short for the sun protection factor, is a measure of protection against UVB rays without consideration of UVA radiation.
SPF is essentially a calculation of the extra protection that sunscreen gives its wearer compared to the naked skin, Dr. Alexandra Kuritzky, a dermatologist in Vancouver, and a clinical instructor in the Department of Dermatology and Dermatology at the University of British Columbia.
"It's a multiplier, and it's unique to the individual, because if an individual is able, say, to spend 30 minutes before the sunburn, their SPF 30 product protects them, for example, longer than an individual after 1
But the US Department of Health warns against SPF's thinking about the time of sun exposure. It is rather the amount of solar radiation received by the wearer.
Another way to think about SPF is a percentage of blocked UVB rays. An SPF of 15 blocks about 93 percent of UVB radiation, while a SPF of 30 blocks about 97 percent. This means that the relative benefit of using a higher SPF decreases as the number increases.
Nevertheless, the FDA and the CDC recommend choosing a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15, while the American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least an SPF of 30.
Holman considers the FDA and CDC recommendation to be the bare minimum. "This is a situation where you want to get to know your skin," she said, adding that a fair-skinned person may want to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or 50.
Of course, the sunscreen will do justice to its sun protection factor only if used correctly and most people will not apply enough of it. An ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered by the American Academy of Dermatology to be the amount needed to cover exposed areas of the body. It is recommended to apply sunscreen to the dry skin 15 minutes before going.
It is difficult to estimate an ounce when spraying sunscreen, so Kuritzky says you should "apply it as if you were spraying", then rub it in with your hands, making sure that the product is not inhaled ,
The FDA regulates the formulation that allows sunscreen manufacturers to label their products. However, several studies have shown that most consumers do not know how to decode the product Language
When choosing a sunscreen, it is important to know what type of sunscreen the product will give you. "Broad spectrum" means that the product can protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.
You also want to know when to apply again, especially if you want to swim or sweat. "Water Resistant" means the sunscreen provides protection for 40 minutes while "very water resistant" is twice as long or 80 minutes long. However, the American Academy of Dermatology generally recommends applying sunscreen every two hours. Since 2011, the FDA has banned manufacturers from labeling sunscreen as "waterproof," as all sunscreens eventually wash off.
Sunscreens can also announce "physical" or "chemical" protection, which indicates whether they are putting a physical barrier with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide – between your skin and the sun, or a chemical – with oxybenzone or octinoxate, for example. While previous sunscreens provide purely physical protection (remember the white cream that lifeguards put on their noses), most modern people combine physical and chemical protection for aesthetic purposes, Kuritzky said.
The active ingredients of sun creams are regulated by the FDA FDA-approved sunscreens are safe for adults and children over 6 months. Mayo Clinic Dermatologist Dawn Davis previously told CNN that people with sensitive skin or allergies might look for physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they are usually hypoallergenic.
In addition, the FDA recommends that sunscreen should not be worn by babies younger than 6 months, and instead suggest that they be kept in the shade and avoid sun exposure from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm when the UV rays are strongest are. But apply what you do when you do not. Sunscreen at the right time or in the right amount and with sunburn Bringing Home
Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Dermatology Department of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said earlier that you should take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
Then rinse with cold water and use a moisturizer over the next few days to replenish dehydrated skin. Make sure you continue to drink water and eat hydrating foods.
Sunscreen Myth # 1: Sunscreen is only sometimes important.
People all year round need sunscreen, rain or shine: Skin protection can also be vital inside, said Kuritzky. Window glass blocks UVB radiation, but UVA rays can still penetrate, thickening and wrinkling the skin over time.
And it's not just a type of person that should prioritize sunscreen, Holman said.
We see the need for sunscreen everywhere, regardless of race or ethnicity, "she added.
However, some age groups burn more often than others, with more than half of US high school students reporting a sunburn in 2014 The use of sunscreens might play a role in this statistic: The same study found that only 13 percent of girls and 7 percent of boys routinely use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more Used higher if they were outside on a sunny day.
Sunscreen Myth # 2: I can get a healthy tan.
According to Holman, there is no healthy tan.
" We know that tanning is a sign that your skin has "It's actually the way your skin shows it's damaged and alarms you, hey 'I have too much sun,' she said.
Sunscreen Myth # 3: It's Too Late
Blooming sunburns in adolescence and early adulthood can greatly increase the risk of skin cancer, but do not let terrible sunburns scare you off To take care of your skin.
"For those who think back to their childhood and early adulthood and say," Oh, I've been damaged, what's the Butt? t? & # 39; We know that even today something could be done and improve your skin health, "Holman said.
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