Articles on sunscreen

Sunscreen Can Protect Your Skin Against Skin Cancer and Premature Aging

Dr. Amrendra kumar, Dermatologist
Sunscreen can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it's applied correctly. Follow these tips when applying sunscreen:Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn't use enough sunscreen, didn't reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

How You Can Eat Your Sunscreen

Dr. Amee Daxini, Dermatologist
Is the sun coming in the way of your daily routine? Not only can the sun put a damper on all your everyday activities, it is also responsible for being harmful for your skin. Sun tanning causes dry skin - which can be handled with a little moisturiser. But the sun also breaks down the collagen in your skin (the protein holding skin together). This leads to wrinkles, delays healing, and increases scars.Did you know that you could eat your way across the battlefiled this summer? Here's howTomatoesGive yourself some extra built-in protection by introducing tomatoes in your diet. It is not a substitute for wearing sunblock, but the red hue in tomatoes makes your skin resilient against the sun, effectively reducing sunburns.TeaGreen, white, and black tea can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. When consumed on a daily basis, it slows down sun-related aging and can even prevent skin cancer. It is advised to drink two cups of tea (preferably green) a day.NutsNuts are rich in vitamin E, containing high levels of quercetin -- a flavonoid known to protect skin from UV damage. They are good sources of omega-3 and contain lots of fiber and lignans.Broccoli and leafy greensBroccoli and other greens are a great way of preventing and even repairing sun damage. Many greens contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin A, B, and C which help reduce the risk of skin cancer.Sweet potatoesApart from being delicious, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of antioxidant pigments and provide increased UV protection. Carrots and butternut squash are also good sources of beta-carotene.

4 Myths About Skin Care You Should Stop Believing

Dr. Vinay Singh, Dermatologist
1. Drinking plenty of water keeps skin diseases away.This is never true. Water/liquid intake should be optimum as per your work, surrounding Climate and if there is any medical problem. More water intake is a prevalent myth in the society. 2.  Laser treatments spoil skin.True, only if Laser is performed by an amateur or by a technician who does not understand the problem and the skin on which it is being done. Remember, Laser is the safest tool in hands of a certified Laser surgeon only, otherwise a laser beam can dig holes in a wall! A certified doctor may sound less economical, but you cannot afford to leave your skin in the hands of a non trained staff. Always insist upon the Doctor incharge of the centre to handle your case personally.3. Sunscreens are 100% effective.Never. Earlier it was 15 SPF in the market as talk of the town, now advertisements talks about 60+ SPF. Sun has not started emitting more rays on your skin, is it?Sunscreens are partially effective and that too if properly applied. Also, the length of time you are in sunlight has to be counted, until and unless you have SLE, a disease which no one would like to have but everyone considers his or her skin to be sensitive to sunlight.4. There has to be side effect of the medicine prescribed.Viola! you got me. Tell me one thing, have you thought of the same while eating out from roadside food joints or friendly juice vendor etc? Or may be from a homeopath who never reveals the name of magical medicine? Or worst case the friendly pharmacist who sells you medicines on phone, without a valid prescription? A doctor who is giving valid prescription is asked questions about side effects, steroids etc. and moreover many patients show their real IQ by putting up support from internet about the disease or the medication prescribed. Before doing so next time please read so called side effects of the medicine you are habitual of taking or advising to others, on the internet and refresh your knowledge.

Know Your Sunscreens

Dr. Jolly Shah Kapadia, Dermatologist
The Best Sunscreen is the one that you will use again and again.What is a Sunscreen ?Sunscreen, also known as sunblock or sun cream is usually a lotion, spray, gel that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thus helps protect against sun-damage.What are the ingredients in a sunscreen ? Sunscreens contain filters that reflect or absorb UV rays. There are two main types of sunscreens: Organic - Also called chemical sunscreens,organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and convert it to a small amount of heat. This group of active ingredients is the most widely used in sunscreens. Organic sunscreens might contain avobenzone, cinoxate, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, oxybenzone.Inorganic - Also called physical sunscreens,inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV radiation. Inorganic sunscreens might contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Sunscreens also might contain Vitamins. Vitamin E can protect against UV-induced DNA damage. Vitamin C helps protect skin from sunburn.What are the types of sun rays ?Sunlight consists of two types of rays that reach the earthUVA rays (or aging rays) can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass. UVB rays (or burning rays) are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass.A Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays.What is SPF or Sun Protection Factor ?Imagine that your skin normally begins to burn after 10 minutes in full sun without any protection. A 30 SPF sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen. That means 30 times longer before you start to burn, or in this case, 300 minutes. Sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, blocks 97 percent of the UVB rays.Is a Sunscreen with higher SPF better ?Sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, blocks 97 percent of the UVB rays.Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays. High-number SPFs last the same amount of time as low-number SPFs. A high-number SPF does not allow you to spend additional time outdoors without reapplicationDoes SPF 60+ provide double the protection of  SPF 30 ?No. Double SPF does not mean double or longer protection. SPF 30 provides skin with 97% protection, whereas SPF 60 provides skin with 98 - 98.6% protection. What is a waterproof or sweat proof Sunscreen?Water/sweat/perspiration resistant” is the correct term. This only means the sunscreen offers SPF protection after 40 minutes of water exposure. A sunscreen labeled “very water resistant” gives upto 80 minutes of protection after water exposure. Remember to also use water resistant sunscreen while doing an activity that causes you to sweat a lot.The key is to re-apply, re-apply, re-apply!What sunscreen should I use?You should use a sunscreen that offers the following:Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higherWater resistantWhen should I use sunscreen?Everyday. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate your skin.How should I use sunscreen ?Apply sunscreen generously on all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.Reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, Sand, water, snow and concrete reflect sunlight and make it even more important to use sunscreen.Since UV light can pass through clouds, use sunscreen even when it's cloudy. What type of sunscreen should I use if my skin is oily and acne prone ?If you have acne-prone skin, you should use a water-based sunscreen.Will applying Sunscreen all over the body, prevent my body from absorbing Vitamin D and make me deficient in Vitamin D?No. Using sunscreen does not block the body’s ability to make vitamin D. How to use sunscreen for my baby or toddler ?If possible, avoid sunscreens in babies younger than 6 months.For infants and toddlers 6 months and older use a broad-spectrum,water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of  30 or higher Sunscreens that use the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, generally cause less irritation to sensitive skin.

Which Sunscreens Should I Use?

Dr. Srinivas C, Dermatologist
Choosing a sunscreen isn't as simple as it used to be.The next generation of sunscreens is just hitting the market -- including L'Oreal's Anthelios SX and products containing Helioplex -- designed to offer fuller protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Given all the new options, how do you know which is the best sunscreen for you?Finding the Best SunscreenSunscreens help shield you from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays in two ways. Some work by scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body. Others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin.A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high sun protection factor (SPF) -- which rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer-causing UV ray, ultraviolet B (UVB.) "SPF refers to blockage of UVB rays only," says Leffell.Research soon showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don't cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into skin and cause wrinkles. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime's exposure to UVA rays.The New Broad-Spectrum SunscreensSo which is the best sunscreen for you? Clearly, you'll want a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates,titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).SPF 15 or higher for UVB protection. The SPF factor rates how effective the sunscreen is in preventing sunburn caused by UVB rays. If you'd normally burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 multiplies that by a factor of 15, meaning you could go 150 minutes before burning.For the vast majority of people, SPF 15 is fine. But people who have very fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or conditions like lupus that increase sensitivity to sunlight should consider SPF 30 or higher.Keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit: contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn't twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement.UVA protection. There is no rating to tell you how good a sunscreen is at blocking UVA rays. So when it comes to UVA protection, you need to pay attention to the ingredients.Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following.: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Any of those should do the trick.Ecamsule. One newly approved ingredient that blocks UVA is ecamsule. It's been available in Europe and Canada, as Mexoryl SX, since 1993. In the U.S., ecamsule is now sold in L'Oreal's Anthelios SX products. It isn't cheap. A 3.4 ounce tube -- barely enough for 4 full-body applications -- can run $30.Avobenzone. Neutrogena's Helioplex isn't really a new ingredient; it's a "stabilized" version of a common UVA-blocker called avobenzone (or Parsol 1789). Unless it's stabilized, avobenzone breaks down when exposed to sunlight -- exactly what you don't want in a sunscreen. You'll find stabilized avobenzone in other sunscreens, too, like Active Photo Barrier Complex and Dermaplex. For instance, any brand-name sunscreen that has avobenzone is stabilized. If you want to spend $30 on a bottle of sunscreen, go ahead. But you can get equally good protection for a lot less.Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Less expensive options for UVA protection have been available for a long time. Old sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide used to make people look pale and ghostly. But newer manufacturing techniques have resolved the problem.Water and sweat resistance. If you're going to be exercising or in the water, it's worth getting a sunscreen resistant to water and sweat.But understand what this really means. The FDA defines water resistant sunscreen as meaning that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. Very water resistant means it holds after 80 minutes of swimming. These sunscreens are in no way water-proof, so you'll need to reapply them regularly if you're taking a dip.A brand you like.  Personal preference is really important.Kid-friendly sunscreen. The sensitive skin of babies and children is easily irritated by chemicals in adult sunscreens, so avoid sunscreens with para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. Children's sunscreens use ingredients less likely to irritate the skin, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Unlike chemical ingredients, these protect babies' skin without being absorbed.For kids 6 months or older, look for a sunscreen designed for children with an SPF of 15 or higher. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies under 6 months be kept out of the sun altogether.Sunscreen for skin problems or allergies. People who have sensitive skin or skin conditions likerosacea may also benefit from using sunscreens designed for children. Go for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide instead of chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. If you have skin irritation or allergies, avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.Other sunscreens include moisturizers or other ingredients for people with dry or oily skin. As long as they meet the UVA and UVB requirements above, you can give them a try and see what works best.How to Wear SunscreenWhile choosing the right sunscreen is important, it won't help much if you don't use it daily and correctly. Use these tips from the experts.Apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go out in the sun. For woman, sunscreen can be applied under makeup. Use about 1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) to cover your whole body. Don't skimp. A number of studies show that people simply don't use enough -- and only get 10% to 25% of the benefit.Don't forget the easy-to-miss spots, like the tips of your ears, your feet, the back of your legs, and, if you have one, your bald spot. Since your lips can also get sunburned, use a UV-protective lip balm and reapply it regularly.No matter how long-lasting it's supposed to be, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and more often if you're sweating or getting wet.Pay attention to the expiration date on the bottle. Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time.Wear sunscreen whenever you're out during the day -- and not only when it's hot and sunny. On a grey, overcast day, up to 80% of the dangerous UV rays still make it through the clouds. And during the winter, exposure to the sun's rays still can have damaging effects on your skin.Sunscreen Isn't EnoughSome people have the impression that wearing sunscreen makes them fully protected against the sun's rays. But that's not the case. No sunscreen can do that.No matter how high the SPF, no matter how thickly you slather it on, sunscreen will never fully protect you, experts say. This misunderstanding can be dangerous: people who think they're safe wind up spending too much time in the sun and raise their risk of skin cancer and other problems.Even your clothes may not protect you. The average cotton T-shirt only has a pitiful SPF of 4.So in addition to wearing good sunscreen, you still need to take other precautions:Stay in the shade when possible.Wear sunglasses.Stay inside when UV radiation levels are highest, usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wear a broad-brimmed hat.Wear sun-protective clothing, preferably with a UVP (ultraviolet protection rating) on the label. At least wear clothes that are dark and tightly woven, which offer a bit more protection.

Summer Is Here #10 Tips on Sunscreen

Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Dermatologist
10 facts you should know about sunscreens; and how to select the best sunscreen for yourself?A sunscreen is essential all through the year and yes even in rains but it's needed mostly during summers as UVB gets stronger then& hence sun burns etc are more common!Use a waterproof sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) for protection from sun’s UV ray's A&B  damage, sun burns, premature aging and skin cancer. “For oily skin, gel-based sunscreen, while combination and dry skin should use a sunscreen moisturiser with mat finish if putting make up on it else a cream based which gets absorbed well without leaving a residual layer".Always make sure to change brand of sunscreen every 6 monthly so as to ensure skin is best protected and also not becoming sensitive or immune to any of the contents.Sunscreen should be first layer applied on skin to produce the block and then on top of it only a day cream and above it a foundation or bb cream but first apply sunscreen.Sunscreen prevents skin tanning. Sunscreen mainly helps us against skin cancer and photoageing. Which means sunscreen helps against wrinkling of skin and also, pigmentation problems, etc.Sunscreen  SPF higher it is more effective! SPF matters only when sun exposure is continuously for prolonged hours and also SPF 26 above is sufficient for Indian skin and be its SPF 26 or SPF 50 both need to be reapplied after 3 hours if sun exposure is being continued.Sunscreen leaves a white mark on face. That's not seen in routine sunscreens but the sunscreen with a physical blocker. So the kind actually which is used by sportsmen and people exposed to lot of sun.More expensive the better. Noway! All what matters is its put 10-15 minutes before going in the sun and reapplied every 3 hourly if still in sun or going again in sun exposure. Also, contents should be of both UVA and UVB blocker.Sunscreen contains PABA and has complications. There is rarely any sunscreen which has paba after 2013.Sunscreen using can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Noway! It's been proven that sunscreen doesn't interfere with vitamin D / sunshine vitamin production in the skin.No Sunscreen for People who have skin allergies or sensitive skin.Infact sunscreen is mandatory for them as else skin conditions like rosacea may also develop. But for sensitive skin people choose a sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide instead of chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone but surely avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.

7 Mistakes Men Make With Their Skin

Dr. Puneet Goyal, Dermatologist
This guy is using products. Are you? In the face of such daunting skin care complexity, a lot of us throw in the towel. “Soap and water are all I need for my skin,” we say gruffly with a bravado we think conveys a devil-may-care masculinity but secretly just masks a deep fear of the unknown world of skin care.As a result, we tend to continue with the skin-destroying, wrinkle-creating practices — too many harsh soaps, not enough sunscreen, and basic neglect — we’ve been repeating because we don’t know better.Such skin care calamities could be avoided if only more of us would man up and ask a question we probably didn’t ask our dads growing up: What mistakes am I making with my skin care?1. Not using any products at allA lot of guys might say, “I don’t want to spend as much time on my skin as my wife does.” The notion of having to spend a lot of time slathering product on your skin before going out or going to bed might make some men recoil — or worse, remind them of Christian Bale’s grooming-obsessed character in American Psycho.But skin care doesn’t have to be a medicine-cabinet-clogging ritual (nor does it make you a serial killer). “At the bare minimum, everyone, including men, can get away with just three products: a cleanser, a sunscreen, and a treatment product for whatever your [skin] problem is,” says Baumann. “That’s the bare minimum. Just put the cleanser in the shower and use it whenever you’re bathing. Put the sunscreen next to your toothbrush and slap it on in the morning. And then use your skin treatment at night. That’s not a lot of time, and you’ll get great results.” 2. Not knowing what kind of skin you haveThe first step in taking care of your skin is knowing what type of skin you have. As beneficial as starting a skin care regimen can be, the wrong kind of care for your skin type might result in damage, not benefits.“Sometimes people are really oily, so they need cleansers that help take that oil off the skin and prevent the pores from getting clogged,” says Baumann. “Other people don’t have enough oil and their skin doesn’t hold onto water properly, so they need more of a creamy cleanser that would deposit moisturizers on the skin.”To see what kind of skin you have and what type of products you should be looking for, you may need some professional help. “Of course I’m biased,” admits Baumann, “But I think [men] should go to the dermatologist and get diagnosed what their skin type is.”3. Washing face with just any soapNot all soaps are created equal, especially when your face is concerned. But Baumann says many of her male patients ignore that fact.“[Men] are not usually very interested in all the different subtleties of skin care and all the different choices,” she says. “So a lot of times they’ll just use whatever soaps they have in their shower to wash their face.”Baumann says that’s a bad call because many popular soaps are harsh on the face. “If it’s Ivory or Irish Spring or Dial or one of those antibacterial ones that a lot of guys use, those are really drying and really irritating to your skin,” she says. (And if you’re using Lava soap, it’s a wonder you even have a face left.) “If your skin’s dry and has inflammation, that can speed up aging and cause other issues,” Baumann continues. “Sometimes acne and things like that can be caused by using the wrong soap on your face.”So once you identify whatever issues your facial skin may have, be sure to use the right cleanser.“If you have acne, you need a cleanser that’s going to kill the bacteria that causes acne,” says Baumann. “If you have rosacea, which is redness, you need an anti-inflammatory cleanser. That choice of cleanser is so important. If you’re just using your shampoo or your body soap or whatever, you’re missing that opportunity to do something good for your skin.”4. Not using a daily SPFFor too many men, sunscreens are for occasional use only — maybe for those days at the beach or those long hikes.That’s not good enough. To protect your skin from sun damage, Baumann recommends incorporating sunscreen into your daily ritual.“The sunscreen should be something that goes next to your toothbrush that you put on every single day no matter what,” she says. “I suggest using a daily SPF instead of a moisturizer.”If protection against ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer isn’t enough to get you to use sunscreen, there are plenty of other unsightly problems that a good sunscreen will guard against. “The yucky-looking brown discoloration you get on your skin — they’re called SK, or seborrheic keratosis,” Baumann says. “They’re those brown things that look like you could pick them off. People who are in the sun a lot get them. Sunscreen will prevent the SKs, the wrinkles, and, of course, skin cancer.”How do you go about choosing the right sunscreen? “Look for a light one that is gel- or lotion-based and avoid those with dimethicone, which makes SPF feel slimy,” Baumann recommends. “If your [skin is] dry, it’s easier to find a good sunscreen because a lot of them are moisturizing. If you’re oily, it’s a little bit more challenging. You should look for a gel.”5. Not using retinoids at night“When you see dermatologists and we have good skin, that’s why — it’s because of the retinoids,” says Baumann. “Retinoids do so many good things.”Dermatologists may swear by retinoids (vitamin-A-based skin care products), but a lot of guys still don’t know about them. That’s unfortunate, because Baumann says they work miracles: preventing wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots.Related: 5 Cosmetic Procedures Most Guys Don’t Know About“[Retinoids] turn on good genes and turn off bad genes,” Baumann says. “They’ll turn on genes that protect your skin from skin cancer, aging, acne, and brown spots. And they’ll turn off genes that break down cellular components like collagen that makes the skin strong.”Retinoids themselves are sun-sensitive, which is why you should put them on at night. (They do not, however, make your skin sensitive to the sun, as popular myths contend.) If you’re going to introduce retinoids to your nightly skin care routine, it’s best to do so gradually. “You have to start really slowly, like every third night for the first couple of weeks,” Baumann says. “Then every other night after a couple weeks, then eventually every night.”But the results, Baumann promises, are worth it. “I’ve been a doctor for 19 years,” she points out. “My patients who have used retinoids look younger than they did 19 years ago. The ones who don’t use it look 19 years older!”6. Shaving on dry skinYes, you might be in a hurry. Still, shaving your skin dry is an all-around bad idea. “You end up getting nicks,” says Baumann. She recommends shaving in the shower after five minutes of warm water exposure.“All that warm water kind of swells the skin a tiny bit,” she says. “So when you shave, you’re not getting quite as close to the roots of the hair. A shave that close can lead to ingrown hairs. Also [when your skin is wet], you get a better glide so the blade doesn’t catch on the skin cells. So you don’t end up with those little nicks.”7. Not using hand creamDon’t think you can walk around with dry, scaly hands and women won’t notice. News flash, they do! “We don’t like it when you shake someone’s hand and their hand’s really rough,“ says Baumann. “Men never think to put on moisturizer, especially when they wash their hands a lot.”She recommends that guys always have a moisturizer handy — in their pockets, in their bags, or in their cars — for use as needed. The result: marked improvement in your hand-to-hand contact. “Using a hand cream after washing hands can make such a difference,” she says. “As a woman, I always notice when a man has soft hands.”And if you follow these tips, chances are the rest of your well-maintained skin won’t go unnoticed either.Suggested products: “I like Cetaphil cream or CeraVe,” says Baumann. “Give it five minutes to soak in and it won’t feel slimy.”