Summer starts June 20th, but lots of us are out enjoying the warm weather already! With outdoor fun comes sunshine, so be sure to keep your kids' skin protected.
Did you know that even one blistering sunburn as a child almost doubles the lifetime risk of melanoma? Sun exposure and the risk of skin cancer is cumulative over a lifetime and kids get a large percentage of their lifetime sun exposure before they reach age 18. It's important to protect their skin and teach them healthy sun habits to carry into their adulthood.
Sun shirts and hats are great to limit the sun-exposed areas that require reapplication.
There is so much information about sunscreen that it can be overwhelming and confusing. Here are the basics:
What should I look for? (1) Broad Spectrum (it protects against both UVA and UVB) and (2) SPF of 30 of higher.
Should I choose Spray or Lotion? Lotions usually provide better coverage than sprays. If you opt to use the spray, be sure to rub it in well. Don't spray faces, instead spray the back of your hand and rub it on.
Which sunscreen is best for Sensitive Skin? If you have sensitive skin, mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide) are your best option.
How much sunscreen do I need? : You need at least a shot glass worth of sunscreen to cover your entire body. Apply your sunscreen, let it sink in, and then apply another coat.
How often do I need to reply?: Reapplication is the most important step that is often missed. you need to reapply at least every two hours - more often if you're sweating or wet.
Does Sunscreen Expire?: Yes, sunscreen has an expiration date listed on the bottle. The expiration date is only valid if the sunscreen is stored in a cool, dry place.
Melanoma and other skin cancers do not discriminate due to age or gender. No one is immune to skin cancer. You will not have to look far into your circle of family and friends to find someone who has been affected by skin cancer. If you ever notice a mole or a spot that is changing in color or shape, growing in size, or you have a sore area of skin that does not seem to heal make an appointment with your healthcare provider to be evaluated.
Sources: American Academy of Dermatology (AAD); Board-certified dermatologist Lauren Ploch, M.D,; Lindsey Williams, PA, Sunburns and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma, Does Age Matter: A Comprehensive MetaAnalysis" Dennis, Leslie K. et al
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