More Sunscreen Facts that Consumers Need to Know

Summertime is upon us here in the United States and, in light of recent vaccine developments, many people are feeling more confident about enjoying some time outdoors. Seeing that outdoor time equals sun exposure, we want to revisit the topic of sunscreen. As they say, prevention is the best medicine. If we can help doctors help their patients avoid unnecessary sun damage, we’re happy. Here, we discuss a few details about sunscreen that many consumers may not know. 

  1. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Consumers may see the phrase water-resistant on a tube of sunscreen and misunderstand the effect. This is easy to do. Recently, it was ruled that sunscreen manufacturers had to print a time on water-resistant products. These lotions tend to be effective for 40 or 80 minutes. That means water-resistant sunscreen needs to be reapplied similarly to any other sunscreen. 
  2. Spray-on sunscreen could be confusing, too. Many people choose spray-on sunscreen for its convenience and speed. This type of product can be especially helpful for parents whose kids just want to get into their outdoor play time. It’s important to know that spray-on sunscreen is not a get-it-on-and-go type of situation. The product must still be rubbed into the skin after application or it will not provide the necessary degree of protection. 
  3. Road trip? Know before you go! Summertime is a great time for a road trip. What travelers often do not realize is that they can sustain sun damage even when driving in a car. Windows and windshields do not filter UV light. The rays of sunshine still come through and, while they may not cause a sunburn, they are causing DNA damage in the skin. That said, we should apply sunscreen even when we plan on being in the car.
  4. Sun damage is a cumulative thing. Dermatologists say this to their patients all the time: “there is no safe sun exposure.” What patients often hear, though, is that they are always at risk of getting sunburned. It’s more subtle than that. Those few minutes that a person spends walking to and from their car every day add up. UV light from the sun starts to damage the DNA immediately so, truly, there is no sun exposure without damage. 

The American Society for Mohs Surgery is committed to supporting doctors and their patients in the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. Click here to find a Mohs surgeon in your area. If you are a board-certified dermatologist interested in membership with the American Society for Mohs Surgery, call (800) 616-2767 or click here to view our Membership Benefits.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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American Society for Mohs Surgery
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway, Box 700
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