The Medical Minute: Safe fun in the sun with skin protection
Swimmers take advantage of a hot day to enjoy the swimming pool on the University Park campus of Penn State. Credit: Andy Colwell
With outdoor activities in full swing this summer, how are you protecting your skin? We know that spending time in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States. It also causes early skin aging for all skin types and ethnicities. The times of sunbathing and sunburns should be over. However, with all the sunscreen products on the market and numerous news articles about the questionable safety of these products, it can be hard to know what to use and how.
The FDA just recently made new rules to help consumers select and use sunscreens appropriately. You will start seeing labels with a skin cancer and skin aging alert, such as Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. If the product does not have a broad spectrum coverage of both UVA and UVB rays and has low SPF from 2 to 14, it will have to alert you that This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging. Water resistance claims on the product's front label must tell you how much time a user can expect to get the declared SPF level of protection while swimming or sweating, based on standard testing. Consumers will be seeing only 40 minutes or 80 minutes of protection on these labels.
Companies have until next December to make these changes, so lets review what you should be doing in the meantime.
To reduce your risk, you should regularly use sunscreens with broad spectrum SPF values of 15 or higher. If you are going to be in direct sunlight use SPF 30 or higher, and reapply that sunscreen at least every two hours, more if you are in the water or sweating.
We need to also limit our time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the suns rays are most intense. Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun can protect us even better than sunscreen, as we can cover every nook and cranny. For example, long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brimmed hats are a good idea when feasible. You can even use umbrellas for full protection.
But wait, I was also told to avoid products containing oxybenzone and retinyl palminate. If you're concerned about potentially toxic chemicals you may want to avoid these two common chemicals in sunscreens. Still, the research is not conclusive or very convincing yet. For children younger than 6 months, use sunscreens that have titanium oxide or zinc oxide in them. They are not absorbed by the skin and they are made with minerals, not chemicals. They are also less likely to sting their and your eyes.
Hopefully these tips will allow you to have safe fun in the sun!
Provided by Pennsylvania State University
- Preventing the skin cancer, not just the sunburn Mar 14, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New rules to cut confusion on sunscreen claims Jun 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- To sun, or not to sun? Apr 17, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Doctors urge routine skin screenings May 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Probing Question: What does the SPF rating of sunscreen mean? Jun 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
17 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
15 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (13) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
17 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |