The Emergency Room at Meadowlands Hospital sees an increase of patients with sun poisoning and severe sunburn in the early months, we would like to share some tips with you to prevent this. Spending time in the sun increases the risk of sun cancer and early skin aging. To reduce this risk, consumers should regularly use sun block and sunscreen. Sun block or sunscreen is a lotion, spray or gel that contains one or more UV filters that reflect the sun's ultraviolet radiation from the skin. If a product states “Suntan Lotion” it does not have any protective sunscreen!
SPF is used world wide to measure from 1-100 the effectiveness and the protection of the sunscreen against UV rays. The SPF number is the amount of UV radiation needed for the skin to become burned with the sunscreen on divided by the amount required of sunscreen. SPF numbers multiplied by 10 indicate the number of minutes the sunscreen will protect against UV rays. It is recommended that you apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going out. You should use at least one ounce (the size of a shotglass) to cover all exposed parts of your body.
Meadowlands Hospital’s dermatologists agree that skin no matter how dark the complexion or if your skin never burns will receive sun damage if sunscreen is not used. With this damage the risk of skin cancer is higher. The American Academy of Dermatology advises wearing a broad-spectrum sun block with at least an SPF of 15 on all sun-exposed areas and to reapply every two hours especially after swimming or perspiring. Generally, the higher the SPF number, the better the protection. However there is minimal difference between a SPF 45 and 100. Look for a sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays for better protection against the sun. You should also limit the time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm when sun's rays are most intense! Sunscreen should always be used-even on the most of cloudy days. Do not forget ears, top of feet and hands and lips!