What to know about the SPF sunscreen system

May 24, 2017, 04:08
What to know about the SPF sunscreen system

Sunscreen. You should wear sunscreen every day. Theoretically, Lunder says, an SPF of 100 means that you could stay out in the sun 100 times longer than you would under unmodified circumstances. Pick a lotion, spray or stick that provides adequate UVA and UVB protection, and make sure you're getting all the SPF coverage promised. The FDA requires sunscreens place an expiration date on all products unless stability tests by the manufacturer show it lasts at least three years.

SPF stands for Skin Protection Factor. The SPF number is the level of protection a sunscreen provides against the rays.

Burned Kyla's face swelled up and turned red before breaking out in nasty blisters. Doctors said she had second-degree burns a dermatologist said they were caustic burns
What to know about the SPF sunscreen system

New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says while he can't comment on the case without seeing the patient in person, generally speaking, when a rash appears on the skin with clearly demarcated borders, there's a good chance it's actually not a burn, but rather contact dermatitis. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Not so fast, says Lunder.

SPF values are determined by applying a thick layer of sunscreen to the skin, and assessing the severity of the burn that develops after masochistic volunteers are exposed to lights of varying intensity in a lab.

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"This year, we estimate that almost every sunscreen we reviewed passes the FDA test", the EWG researchers write, "but that about half of them would not offer enough UVA protection to be sold in Europe".

"There is little scientific evidence to suggest that sunscreen alone reduces cancer risk", the authors write, "particularly for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer".

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When it comes to higher SPF's, the big question is do you really get more protection from a 50? "Skin cancers get a foothold when this damage affects the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth", says Dr. Kirkpatrick.

Friedman recommends that parents apply mineral block sunscreens - zinc oxide or titanium dioxide - to their children until they're about 4 or 5 years old, because "there are specific sunscreens for different ages because there are unique biological differences at different ages". Two ingredients, in particular, oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, consumers should avoid. All sunscreens protect against UVB rays, the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer, but not all products block UVA. She said she sprayed Banana Boats Kids Sunscreen Spray SPF and applied it to her daughter's face.

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So how might beachgoers, preparing to shake off the drab, rainy cloak of spring, navigate the sunscreen aisle before heading to the shore?

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