Everyone is at risk for sun exposure, regardless of your age and/or skin color.
- Ultra violet rays create Vitamin D, which absorbs Calcium. Calcium is important in building and maintaining healthy bones.
- Some skin conditions can benefit from the sun such as psoriasis, eczema, rickets or jaundice.
- Feeling good and looking good with a tan may help your overall psychological being.
- If your patient is on an antibiotic and/or birth control, they may be more sensitive to the sun. (It is helpful to your patients to be well aware of these side effects.)
- Sun exposure can lead to early aging of your skin. Skin changes such as developing moles and dark spots, can develop into cancer over time (nonmelanoma and/or melanoma). Melanoma can spread to other areas of the body if left untreated and it can be very serious.
- Sun exposure can cause eye injuries.
- Sunburn can cause changes in white blood cells, which could result in a lower immune system and cause problems in other areas of the body.
- Using sunscreen can protect against the sun’s ultra violet rays.
- The FDA suggests applying SPF 15 or greater for protection. There is very little evidence that anything over SPF 50 adds more protection, therefore, FDA requires labels to stop at broad 50 SPF+.
- Remember to apply to areas such as lips, ears and hairline as well.
- Reapply every two hours and/or after you swim and/or an area of your body is exposed to water and after sweating.
- Try to cover up when possible to avoid exposure to the sun and try to limit your time in the sun.
Spray vs. Lotion Sunscreen
Very simple…. Sunscreen is sunscreen, and it will protect you if it is SPF 15 or higher. However, with creams/lotions it is easier to know how much you have applied as opposed to spray. When using spray sunscreen it is harder to judge how much actually makes it on your body. Spray sunscreen is convenient and easy to use, but it may not give you the protection you need.
Overall one should apply sunscreen whenever exposed to the sun with and use the correct SPF as specified by the FDA.
Treatment of Sunburn:
- Cool Compresses
- Aloe Vera gel
- Cool baths; colloid oatmeal bath
- Drink plenty of fluids to replenish bodily fluids
- DO NOT apply moisturizers while the skin is hot as this may result in more discomfort
- Usually after 12-24 hours moisturizers may be applied to help hydrate the skin
- Seek additional medical treatment if symptoms worsen after sun exposure and/or you feel you need additional care