Sunscreen: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Here they come! Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are upon us, and we can’t wait to get out there. Stop and think about all the things you need for a picnic in the park, a day at the beach or pool, or even watching your favorite team play baseball. You will need lots of supplies for a picnic, going to the pool or beach or sitting in the outfield. The most important item you need inside your backpack or beach bag is, of course, sunscreen. Let’s see how much you really know about sunscreen: frequently asked questions and answers.

It’s a Family Thing: Who should wear sunscreen?

No one gets left out when it comes to sunscreen, even your smallest child. It’s important to protect their skin as well as grandparents. If you ever wondered about who should be shielded from the sun’s damaging rays, it’s everyone. Race, age, gender makes no difference. It protects you from aging skin, but more importantly, from skin cancer.

Slather it on everyone!


Light Clothing Isn’t Enough: How can I protect my child?

Just because your child is wearing long sleeves and long pants doesn’t mean they are protected from the sun. A hat with a brim is helpful, but it’s still not enough.

Children younger than 6 months should not wear sunscreen*, but you should keep them in the shade. After that children should still wear a hat to protect their heads and anywhere else that is exposed. Don’t forget their feet, ears, hands, and neck. The same goes for adults, and sunglasses are a must for everyone.

Be advised that sand and water can reflect the sun and increase the sun’s damaging rays.

Set Your Timer: Where and how often should I apply sunscreen?

Reapply sunscreen every two hours. Apply to dry skin. If using a spray, rub in to be sure you covered everything. When applying to your face, spray into your hands, not around your eyes.

Reapply after swimming or sweating.

Only Use Broad Spectrum Sunscreen: What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

Both of these harmful rays can cause skin cancer. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects against both types.

UVA rays cause age spots and affect aging skin, and it can pass through windows. Be careful during long car trips with unprotected arms or if you have a sunroof.

UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn, skin cancers, but they cannot pass through windows.

No Sunscreen Is 100% Effective: Am I better protected with a sunscreen higher than 30 SPF?

Dermatologists recommend using water resistant sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. This will block 97% of UVB rays. Higher SPF’s only block slightly more UVB rays. You still need your timer even if the SPF is higher than 30. Two hours is still the deadline to reapply.

When You Ignore All the Warnings: How to treat a sunburn?

If you allow yourself to get sunburned there are steps to follow:

  • Get in a cool bath and gently pat yourself dry
  • Moisturize
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone helps
  • Take aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid any products with “-caine” like benzocaine
  • If you experience chills, fever, headache, seek medical help immediately

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Contact Goodless Dermatology at (407) 566-1616 if you haven’t scheduled your yearly skin check or if you have additional questions about skin cancer prevention.