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Maybe you think you are applying sunscreen correctly, or maybe you think you don’t need it at all. Check out these myths and truths about sunscreen before you head out into the sun.
The sunscreens act through chemical and physical filters that reduce the penetration of UVA and UVB rays into the skin. The use of sunscreens is important to avoid photo-aging and skin cancer, as long as they are used properly and combined with other protective measures, such as wearing hats or caps.
Studies show that at least 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin must be used, which is equivalent to applying a teaspoon of sunscreen to cover the face and neck.
When not applied in right amounts, sunscreens do not provide complete protection. Therefore, it is important to combine them with other forms of physical barriers to maximize their effectiveness. Used inappropriately, they can create the false sensation that we are protected from solar radiation, when in fact we would still be exposed.
DO SUNSCREENS CAUSE CONTACT DERMATITIS?
Yes, they can, however, these reactions are very rare and are usually associated with a substance contained in some organic filters called oxybenzone.
Yes they can, however, these reactions are very rare and are usually associated with a substance contained in some organic filters called oxybenzone.
HOW DO I ENSURE GOOD PROTECTION?
Sunscreens are labeled depending on the protection they provide against UV radiation.
Protection against UVB rays, the most harmful radiation with the greatest mutagenic effect, is determined by the SPF factor (Sun Protection Factor). An SPF of magnitude 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays, enough to be protected.
The spectrum of UVA-type ultraviolet radiation is associated with tanning and photo-aging, which is why we are protected against it. It’s important then to make sure that the sunscreens we use also offer this type of protection, because many products on the market only guarantee the blocking of UBV rays.
WHAT TYPE OF SUNSCREEN SHOULD I USE?
There are many types of sunscreens according to their composition and vehicle. The inorganic filters, also called screens, are recommended for people with extremely sensitive skin to the sun, such as patients with rosacea, and are ideal for patients with melasma.
The vehicles in which the sunscreens come are also an important feature when choosing a product for daily use. Water-based gels are suitable for oily or acne-prone skin. While the use of more creamy vehicles is ideal for dry and mature skin.
CAN IT AFFECT VITAMIN D LEVELS?
We know that the synthesis of vitamin D in the body requires exposure to UVB, radiation that would be blocked by using a sunscreen. However, its effect is not significant, since the synthesis of this vitamin in the skin can occur even with little radiation, and its levels are more conditioned to the diet. Don’t even think of them as tanning sessions!
Sunscreen and sunblock are a great way to protect your skin from the sun if you have to be out in it. But don’t forget we have cycling clothing that can protect your skin from UV rays and sunglasses to protect the skin around your eyes.
If you have questions about how to protect your skin from the sun ask your doctor. The answer could help you lower your skin cancer risk.