Why Sunscreen Isn’t Just For The Beach

  • Posted on: Aug 15 2023
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Preventative measures for skin cancer are necessary and effective. Studies have shown that implementing preventative measures can lower the risk of developing many forms of cancer.

With skin cancer being the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States, steps can be taken to help protect your skin. Let’s take a look at a small, but not insignificant way we can help combat the risk factors that can lead to skin cancer: sunscreen.

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin? 

There are two types of sunscreen: mineral and chemical sunscreens. Though both are effective at protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, it is important to know which one you are using as that can affect usage such as how often you need to reapply.

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens typically utilize titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to reflect both UVA and UVB rays. Their mechanism is through reflection by sitting atop your skin and creating a physical barrier. This means the protective quality of mineral sunscreens begins at the time of application. Mineral sunscreens can also be better for the environment as they are reef-safe.

However, there are some potential drawbacks. For one, they can leave an undesirable film or chalky residue. Also, because mineral sunscreens sit on top of your skin, they can be rubbed away, making them and so would require more frequent reapplication than the two-hour dermatologist recommendation.

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens get their name not for their ingredients, as mineral sunscreens also use chemicals, but because of the way they work. Chemical sunscreens protect the skin by causing a chemical reaction with the UV rays from the sun, denying their damaging effects on the skin. Because of this, chemical sunscreens are not immediately effective and take up to 30 minutes to be absorbed by your skin.

How Sunscreen Can Be Part Of Your Daily Routine

Regardless of which sunscreen type you use, mineral or chemical, both have shown efficacy in preventing the harmful effects of UV rays. Experts recommend sunscreen to be applied as the final measure of your skincare routine, after your moisturizer for example.

If you wear makeup, it should be applied underneath your makeup. An important tip is to make sure the sunscreen you use is broad-spectrum or claims to block both UVA and UVB rays.

Learn More About Skin Cancer With The American Society for Mohs Surgery

At the American Society for Mohs Surgery, we have created a mission of providing high-quality dermatologic education. For over 30 years, we have strived to help teach physicians and patients alike about skin cancer surgery and skin cancer education. To learn more about what you can do for your skin or how we can help, contact us online or call 785-783-2070 today.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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