Sun Protection and Sunscreens (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is sun protection?
- How is sunburn best prevented?
- What is sunscreen?
- What is meant by SPF?
- Are all sunscreens equally effective against UV radiation?
- How do sunscreens work, and which sunscreen ingredients protect against both types of UV radiation?
- How should skin sunscreens be applied?
- Do water or perspiration wash off sunscreen?
- Can sunscreens cause a skin reaction?
- Should everyone use sunscreen protection?
- Can the labels on sunscreen products be trusted in the U.S.?
- Do all tanning products contain sunscreens?
- What kind of sunglasses should be worn?
- Is sunscreen protection necessary in the winter?
- Are a good sunscreen and sunglasses enough?
- Sun Safety FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
Do all tanning products contain sunscreens?
No, some don't. Tanning products such as self-tanners that don't contain sunscreen are required by the FDA to carry a warning label alerting consumers to the dangers of unprotected sunbathing.
What kind of sunglasses should be worn?
Only those that provide 100% protection against UVA and UVB radiation, as stated on the label at the time of purchase, should be worn.
Is sunscreen protection necessary in the winter?
Yes, UV radiation, though not as intense in the winter, still poses a threat, especially when rays reflect off snow. Skiers should also note that the degree of exposure to the sun's radiation increases 4% for every 1,000-foot increase in altitude. There is no safe time of year when it comes to UV radiation. The same applies to weather conditions. Even on a cloudy day, 80% of the sun's ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds and reach the earth.
Are a good sunscreen and sunglasses enough?
No, they are only one part of a complete sun-protection program. An effective program also includes limiting sun exposure and wearing protective clothing.
American Melanoma Foundation. "Facts About Sunscreen." <http://www.melanomafoundation.org/prevention/facts.htm>.
United States. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Sunscreen." June 27, 2011. <http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingOver-the-CounterMedicines/ucm239463.htm>.
Last Editorial Review: 2/9/2012
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