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Sun Protection and Sunscreens

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What is sun protection?

Sun protection is simply guarding a body from the adverse effects of sunlight. Aside from the hazards of heat, the sun poses the danger of sunburn, which can permanently damage the skin and cause skin cancer, precancerous changes in the skin, as well as premature wrinkling and signs of aging. Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun is a known risk factor for the development of both melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers.

How is sunburn best prevented?

The best ways to avoid sunburn are to do the following:

  • Limit time in the sun, especially between the peak sunlight hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing, including
    • a broad-brimmed hat,
    • a shirt with sleeves that cover the arms,
    • a long skirt or pants with long legs.
  • Use a protective sunscreen to minimize the penetration of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or perspiring heavily.

What is sunscreen?

Sunscreen is any substance or material that protects the skin from UV radiation. Sunscreens are available in the forms of topical lotion, cream, ointment, gel, or spray that can be applied to the skin; a salve or stick that can be applied to the lips, nose, and eyelids; a moistener in towelettes that can be rubbed against the skin; sunglasses that protect the eyes; certain types of sun-protection clothing; and film screen that can be affixed to the windows of a car, room, or office. Many facial moisturizers and cosmetics products also offer some degree of sun protection.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

Patient Comments

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Sunscreen - Tips for Reapplying Question: Please share suggestions for reapplying sunscreen, like after swimming or perspiring.
Sunscreen - Sunburn Prevention Question: Besides sunscreen, what prevention measures do you use to avoid getting sunburn?
Sunscreen - Best Types Question: What is the best brand of sunscreen, in your experience?
Sunscreen - Sunburns in Winter Question: Have you ever gotten sunburned in winter? Describe what happened and how you will prevent it next time.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/sun_protection_and_sunscreens/article.htm

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