It is back-to-school season. Fall is looming for most of the areas of the United States. Fortunately, here in southwest Florida, we can count on many, many more sunny days at the beach.
To prevent skin cancer and aging skin, it is important to remember to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. There are two different types of sun rays that damage our skin: ultraviolet (UV)-B rays and UV-A rays. The sun protection factor (SPF) specified on your sunscreen bottle only tells you how well the sunscreen works against UV-B rays. Many sunscreens in the past only provided a high SPF number and, therefore, only protected against UV-B rays. Unfortunately, high SPF is not enough. In addition to an SPF of 30 or higher, you need to make sure that your sunscreen also adequately protects you against UV-A rays by making sure it says “broad spectrum” on the packaging. It is even better to choose one that is water resistant for up to 40 or 80 minutes. Sunscreen can no longer claim to be waterproof or sweat proof.
One ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. If you have sensitivity to sunlight, it is a good idea to wear higher (SPF 50 or 70 or above) sunscreens. This is especially true since the SPF number assumes the “appropriate” amount of sunscreen applied as mentioned above. However, studies show that most people only apply a fraction of that amount. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied at least every two hours.
In our new Fort Myers office, we are here for your dermatologic needs. It would be an honor for us to take care of you and your family. For the rest of the month of August, Dr. Hedy Setyadi is offering a complimentary skin screening for new patients only. Pre-registration is required. Feel free to call us at (239) 590-8894 to make an appointment!