Choosing the Right Sunscreen
With dangerous heat, staying cool isn’t the only thing to worry about. Dermatologists warn one in five will get skin cancer and sunscreen should be an important part of your daily routine.
But from lotions to sprays, it can be confusing to pick the right one.
A sun protectant factor or SPF ranges from 2 to 100. Sunscreens come in all different brands and numbers, but doctors say the number doesn’t reflect its strength.
‘We’re looking at how much time you spend in the sun with that particular SPF,” said Dr. Kris Gas with Fort Smith Radiation Oncology.
Dr. Gast says as the higher the SPF, the longer you are able to safely stay out in the sun.
Ronnie Hatley spent the day at Creekmore pool in Fort Smith
‘We’ve been here about two hours and yes, we sun screened real well,” he said. “We put number 50 on.”
To make it most effective, dermatologist Sandra Johnson says to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you head outside.
“An SPF 15 should be all you need, well that means a whole ounce for the body and tablespoon for the face, and most people don’t use it like that, so I advise at least an SPF of 30,” Dr. Johnson kid.
Regardless of the SPF number, re-apply every two hours.
“A spray is easier to use and so you’re more likely to use it,” Dr. Johnson said.
For babies, she recommends finding a sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to block the ultra violet light.
“So when you’re going to the store and you’re trying to determine what to get, first look for something that’s UVA and UVB,” said Dr. Johnson.
Dermatologists also recommend wearing SPF powder or sunblock clothing. Dr. Johnson says the Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith has a ‘sun smart program’ so you can learn more about sun protection. They also provide free sunblock to Creekmore pool and the Alma Water Park. Visit http://reynoldscancersupporthouse.org/ for more information.