GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- We have not seen a bunch of sun this spring, but it seems to have finally arrived.
Along with the sun comes the risk of sunburn, and eventually... skin cancer. At high noon with direct sun it only takes 15 minutes to get a sunburn if you are not wearing sun block.
Preventing sunburn will maintain healthy skin and reduce your risk for skin cancer. Of course, the sun feels good, and if you follow simple guidelines you can enjoy it.
The first is obvious: to be safe in the sun you need to wear sun block. SPF is Sun Protection Factor the number you see on sunscreen labels. The higher the number the more protection.
Numbers can be confusing. The difference between a 15 and 30 SPF is a lot greater than the difference between a 30 and 60. SPF sun blocks now go up to 70 but if you don't apply it right it won't be as effective.
Dr. Cally Chermak says that even waterproof sunscreens need to be reapplied after swimming every 2 hours. The biggest problem with sunscreen is that people don't use enough of it.
You should be going through a bottle of sunscreen on a regular basis. If your bottle of sunscreen is lasting the entire summer you are probably not applying enough.
If you have allergies to sunscreen, Dr. Chermak suggests it's a good idea to avoid products with fragrance. For children or people with sensitive skin, use sun blocks with titanium oxide and zinc oxide which will provide maximum sun protection.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)