Is my sunscreen still safe?
Tue, Jun 25, 2019
Recent news reports have called into question the safety of some types of sunscreen. There should be no such quandary, one BayCare Clinic specialist says.
Sunscreen protects people’s exposed skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays and helps lessen the likelihood of developing skin cancer later in life.
“There have been some reports about the safety of certain types of sunscreens, chemical sunscreens in particular, and some of their components,” says Nick Grimm, PA-C, a dermatology services provider with Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic. “However, the American Academy of Dermatology has come out with a position that the use of sunscreen is still something that’s recommended … because it prevents skin cancer.”
Skin cancer affects all people regardless of age, gender or race. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Lessen those odds by consistently using sunscreen when outdoors and exposed to the sun’s rays, Grimm says.
“We do know that when people don’t use sunscreen, that it causes skin cancer,” he says. “By not applying sunscreen, we’re just going to see those (cancer) rates continue to go on the rise.”
Grimm suggests using sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), is SPF 50 and is water resistant.
In addition to wearing sunscreen, the following steps from the American Academy of Dermatology can help protect people’s skin when out in the sun:
- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Dress to protect yourself from the sun by wearing a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling.
Also, remember to check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything on your skin that’s cause for concern, see your dermatology services provider. Skin cancer is highly treatable when detected early.
Nick Grimm PA-C is a dermatology services provider with Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic. He sees patients in Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Marinette.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.