When at the beach, how often should I apply sunscreen?

When at the beach, how often should I apply sunscreen?

At least every 2 hours, if you are not sweating or in the water make sure you are using a water resistant product and follow label instructions for frequency.

May is skin cancer awareness month! Did you know more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by cumulative sun damage to the skin because of a lack or inadequate use of protection such as sunscreen and clothing.

American Dermatology Association (ADA) recommends sun protection daily for UV Index greater or equal to a 3. The strongest UV A and B exposure is between 10 and 4 pm in Sarasota. google today’s UV Index in Sarasota or watch the morning news weather for the daily index. It might surprise you the intensity of our sun and the index!

As a rule, always put on sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. If out in the sun for an extended period reapply every 2 hours.

Apply recommended amount to cover sun exposed area to insure your SPF 30 or greater protection. Tubes use approximately 2 fingers of product on each area. If a liquid is used, apply approximately 1 ounce to cover the entire body. If you apply less you will get less SPF protection for 2 hours. The reason for the reapplication is once you apply the sunscreen onto your skin, the sun’s UV rays slowly degrade the SPF over the 2 hours. To ensure continued protection, reapply.

If in the water or sweating, read the label located on your sunscreen container regarding water resistance. FDA approved sunscreen products that are water resistant or very water resistant. FDA approved sunscreen products for wet skin are labeled water resistant protection providing adequate protection for 40 minutes. FDA approved label for very water-resistant protection provides protection for 80 minutes. There is no such FDA approved product for being waterproof.

When you dry off or use soap and water you remove your protection, you need to reapply.

Wear protective clothing including shirts and hats with SPF 50 rating and sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. Stay in the shade when possible.

If you have a history of repeated sunburns over time and /or unprotected sun exposure, or a family history of melanoma; the ADA recommends a total body skin check annually.

If you would like to schedule a consultation/ examination you can contact South Osprey Dermatology Associates in Sarasota. The phone number is 941-957-4767 to set up an appointment.

Enjoy our tropical climate and stay safe in the sun. Follow our weekly blog for more tips and answers to your questions regarding Skin Health! Nancy Gardner PhD, Nurse Practitioner