Common Sunscreen Mistakes: Are You Making Them?

Skin Cancer Long Beach, CAWhen we think of our bodily organs, we may consider the value of the major players such as the heart, brain, and lungs. The skin gets overlooked as far as organs go, but is often the first indicator of compromised health. The skin is not only the largest organ in the body but also the most exposed one. About 300 million cells make up the skin. We care about every one of them. When one skin cell becomes cancerous, we must handle the issue as promptly and mindfully as possible. Ideally, though, skin cancer rates would decline thanks to awareness and the proper practice of protective tactics. Here, we discuss some of the common mistakes people make when using sunscreen.

  1. Using sunscreen only on “special occasions.” Sunscreen is not something to apply only when you’re sitting poolside or enjoying a day at the beach. It is not a product to tuck away in a backpack for long hikes. To prevent skin cancer, it is necessary to wear broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every day, including those days when the sun is obscured by clouds.
  2. Applying too little, too infrequently. Did you know it takes about one ounce, or one shot glass, of sunscreen to adequately cover the entire body? The face doesn’t need a pea-size dollop of sunscreen, it needs more of a dime-sized spot, or even more. Additionally, sunscreen lasts only a few hours. On outdoor days, the motto is “reapply, reapply, reapply.” The general rule is to reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you sweat or swim, an application may need to occur more frequently.
  3. Thinking only in the tube. Sunscreen is an essential aspect of sun protection. However, there is more that can be done, especially when you’re outdoors for several hours. If you jog or bike or hike, wear UV-resistant clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and a scarf or a shirt with a collar that will protect the back of the neck. Sunglasses do more than reflect bright sunlight, they protect the skin around the eyes, and the eyeballs, from dangerous sun damage (cancer can develop in the eye).

Stay Protected by Staying Informed

The American Society for Mohs Surgery was established several years ago to keep doctors informed and fully trained in the performance of the Mohs micrographic surgery technique. Additionally, we continue to spread awareness about skin cancer, prevention, and treatment options to people who want to protect their largest organ.

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 Care

Leave a response

Get In Touch With Us

Quick Contact

  • * All indicated fields must be completed.
    Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Education & Resources

Office Information

American Society for Mohs Surgery
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway, Box 700
Long Beach, CA 90803-4201
Telephone: (714) 379-6262 or
(800) 616-2767
Facsimile: (714) 362-9540

5.0 stars from 3 reviews