CNOS Dermatologist, Dr. Raymond Kuwhara, explains how wearing the right sunscreen, can prevent sun damage and why it’s important for long term health.
Skin damage can come in the form of freckles, moles, wrinkles or liver spots. You can prevent premature skin aging, and skin cancer, the same way you prevent sunburn.
“It’s very important to use sunscreen. The best one to use isn’t one you use all the time, because most people don’t put it on in the first place. Regarding SPF strength, there is a lot of truth in the higher the better. But once you get up to about SPF 100 It doesn’t matter too much,” said Dr. Raymond Kuwahara.
The best way to protect your skin is to stay out of the sun. But that isn’t always possible with activities like pool parties, baseball games and yardwork.
“If you have to go outside: wear a hat, wide brim hat long sleeve shirt long pants. Look for shade. If you have to be in direct sunlight, try to make it as short as possible… And lastly, sunscreen is very important in the areas that are not covered by your large hat, long sleeve shirt long pants, like your face, neck, hands, the dorsal or the backside of your feet,” said Dr. Kuwahara.
When it comes to kids, Dr. Kuwahara says infants 6 months and younger shouldn’t be in the sun or they at least need to be covered. Children over 6 months should use kid-safe, skin-sensitive sunscreen.
Dr. Kuwahara says you can choose a chemical sunscreen or a physical sun blocker. The chemical sunscreen absorbs UV light. A physical sunblock reflects the UV light, preventing the sun’s rays from getting in. The physical block will leave a white cast on your skin while the chemical will be less opaque.
The American Academy of Dermatology advises using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Dr. Kuwahara also tipped there is no sunscreen that is “waterproof” — just water-resistant. That means you need to be reapplying at least every two hours.
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