Sun Protection for you and Your Family

Released: 6/30/2017





Have fun in the sun, but be “sun smart” this summer.  Just follow some key steps to prevent excess sun exposure that can lead to sunburn, eye damage, wrinkles, and life-threatening melanoma. Safeguard your children, too.  Research indicates that one serious childhood sunburn could trigger skin cancer in later years.


If you’re headed for the shore, the lake or the backyard pool, apply to all exposed skin a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF from 30 to 50 and zinc and/or titanium as active ingredients. 


Dr. Saryna Young, WESTMED dermatologist says, “Research has shown that sunscreens with SPFs beyond 50 do not proportionately increase the level of protection. But do not go below SPF 30.”


How much should you use?  Dr. Young advises, “One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount of sunscreen needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly. And don’t forget your ears (basal cell skin cancers can start there). Reapply at least every two hours and especially after swimming, perspiring or toweling off.  


Other points to remember:


  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses to protect the face and eyes.  
  • Wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day.  Clouds only block about 25% of UV radiation .
  • Be aware that concrete, sand and water reflect 85 to 90 percent of the sun’s damaging rays, making you vulnerable to sunburn.
  • Try to get your outside activities completed in the early morning before 9 a.m. or late afternoon after 4 p.m., as the sun is the strongest at the middle of the day.


Dr. Young adds, “As something extra beyond sunscreen, there is an over-the-counter supplement called Heliocare. It’s derived from the fern plant that provides some additional protection from the sun’s oxidative damage. It does not replace sunscreen but provides an additional avenue of protection.”