Even if you use sunscreen regularly, you may be among the one-fourth to one-half of sunscreen users who use inadequate amounts. If so, your sunscreen may not be as effective as you think. For instance, when a sunscreen with an SPF of 16 is put on too sparsely, it may only provide SPF 2 protection. To avoid this problem, start with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and use about two tablespoons (one ounce) to cover your entire body. One-quarter to one-third of a tablespoon is about the right amount for covering the face. Sunscreen should be applied about fifteen minutes before going out in the sun, and it should be reapplied every couple of hours.
Most skin cancers can be prevented by wearing the right amount and SPF level of sunscreen and wearing protective clothing such as hats with brims. Pay attention to any change in appearance of moles on your skin. At ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY, we incorporate the most advanced diagnostic methods for skin cancer. We also treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. Please call us at 630-832-2111 to schedule an evaluation. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.
Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist
P.S. On cloudy or overcast days, about 70 to 80 percent of ultraviolet radiation pierces the clouds, causing photo damage to the skin (premature wrinkling, age spots, dryness, and a variety of skin cancers).