Studies show that those who regularly used sunscreens were more likely to burn than those who did not. I explain why and what to do about it with KRON 4 Morning News Anchor, Marty Gonzalez.
Why Sunscreen Users Burn
Possible reasons for this finding* are that sunscreen users:
- May have a false sense of security.
- Justify staying outdoors loner.
- Don’t follow label directions properly.
*National Health Interview Survey of 31,000 Americans recently published in JAMA Dermatology.
Commonly Missed Spots
The most commonly overlooked areas when it comes to applying sunscreen are the most vulnerable to skin cancer. These body parts are exposed to the sun almost daily and not covered up during the colder months.
- Scalp: Use an oil-free sunscreen (least greasy option for hair) if you’re bald, shave your head, and on your part.
- Ears: Cancer occurs frequently on the ears.
- Eyelids: Cancers often develop on the skin around the eyes. Difficult to protect with sunscreen if you don’t want lotion in your eyes. Wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV-blocking lenses.
- Lips: One of the highest risk areas for squamous cell cancer. When they develop on the lips, there is the highest chance of spreading and 35% chance of recurrence. RISK OF DEATH could be as high as 15%.
- Hands: If you wash your hands after applying sunscreen, the backs of your hands end up with zero sun protection. Must reapply sunscreen onto backs of your hands after washing them (that includes after using the restroom too). Remember… when driving, the backs of your hands, arms, and face are highly exposed to UVA aging rays. Glass filters out only one kind of radiation — UVB rays.
- Back of the neck: This is a high-risk zone for basal and squamous cell cancer. Even if your have long hair, it needs sunscreen.
- Back: According to the American Cancer Society, men are particularly at high risk of developing deadly melanoma on their backs. The back is a difficult area to apply sunscreen and often leads to severe sunburns.
ALERT! If you’ve had five or more blistering sunburns, your risk of melanoma is increased by 80% and your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer is increased by 68%.
- Feet: If wearing sandals or have bare feet, your skin can burn easily. Apply sunscreen to tops of the feet.
Date and Shake Your Sunscreen
- Mark the date that you opened the sunscreen with a waterproof marker if there is no expiration date. Sunscreens are meant to maintain their original potency for 3 years.
- Shake it (even if the directions don’t say to) to distribute the active ingredients throughout the product.