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The Incidence of Skin Cancer Has Reached Epidemic Levels
Date:5/11/2010

rotection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and an SPF 30 will provide most people with adequate protection if used properly. However if you’re very fair you may need to use a sunscreen with a higher SPF to protect against burning, depending on the amount of time you’re exposed to the sun.

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors: Sunscreen ingredients need time to bind to the skin to be effective. If you apply it at the beach you could get burned in the time it takes for it to work. Be sure to apply sunscreen over all exposed skin and even on cloudy days when as much as 40% of the sun’s rays reach the earth. Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming and heavy sweating.

When choosing a sunscreen look for broad spectrum sunscreens that contain ingredients such as Avobenzone (Parsol 1789), Mexoryl or zinc or titanium oxide: According to Dr. Zweibel, these ingredients are particularly effective at blocking the widest spectrum of ultraviolet light including UVA that is largely responsible for the deeper damage that can lead to skin cancer and premature signs of aging.

Avoid the midday sun: The hours between 10 AM and 4 PM are when the sun is the strongest and can do the most damage, “One of the most important things you can do to protect your skin besides applying a sunscreen is to manage your exposure time and wear protective clothing, such as long sleeved shirts, pants and a broad-brimmed hat,” says Samuel Beran, MD, a plastic surgeon with Westchester Health Associates, a clinical affiliate of The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Limiting exposure to the sun will also help prevent the many of the visible skin changes attributed to aging--wrinkles, brown spots and sagging skin--that are mostly caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Protect children from sun exposure. Keep newborns out of the sun. For children six months and over, apply sunscreen
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