Facebook Skin Cancer Reminds: Use Sunscreen


This young lady posted her photo on Facebook to warn the world about the danger of tanning beds and not using sunscreen.

Using sunscreen is like flossing your teeth. When you go to the dentist you wished you would have flossed – when you go to the dermatologist, you wished you would have used sunscreen.

Five Sunscreen Myths:

Spray Sunscreen Works Well – MYTH
Most studies show that spray on sunscreen provides about half the dose needed for protection against the sun. The best way to apply them is to spray into your hands and rub them into your skin. Most spray sunscreens are flammable so let the sunscreen dry before going near any open flame.

Special Sunscreen For Kids – MYTH
There is no difference in recommendations for kids as adults – you can use the same sunscreen for the whole family. Infants should not have sunscreen (see below for their recommendations). The same active ingredients are used in both types.

A dab will do you -MYTH
Most people use half the sunscreen that they should.  You need two tablespoons to cover the head and body. Apply 15-30 minutes before the sun.

You can Rely on the SPF label- MYTH
Most test results, including those done by Consumer Reports, show that the SPF label is often low. Most sunscreens don’t provide the protection labeled. Instead rely on the protection

Using twice the SPF gives you twice the protection – MYTH
Using twice the SPF does not give you twice the protection, nor does it last twice as long. The difference between SPF 50 and 100 is just 1 per cent. Reapply every two hours. No sunscreen blocks 100 per cent of the sun’s UV rays. Best to use protective clothing and hats in addition to


Five Recommended Sunscreens

Coppertone UltraGuard SPF 70+ – good UVA and UVB, and after water it provided SPF of 59. About $11 a bottle

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water +, SPF 70 . Good sunscreen, priced around $11 a bottle.

Equate (Walmart) Ultra Protection SPF 50 lotion. Good UVA and UVB protection for $9.00 a bottle.

Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+. Good UVA and UVB protection for $11 a bottle.

Coppertone Sport High Performance Face SPF 50. Good protection but does not irritate the eyes.

Clothing Tips

Clothing should be the first line of defense against the sun. Those that sell sun protective clothing will provide a UPF or Ultraviolent Protection Factor for their clothing.  A factor of 50 allows in only 1/50th of the ultraviolet rays.

Start with a hat. Wear a hat that has a wide brim and covers your ears and back of your neck. Provides good protection against the sun on the ears and the back of the neck.

Sun shirts and sleeves provide excellent protection.

Golfers can get sleeves to protect their arms from the sun when they golf.  They allow you to wear golf shirts but have sleeves that provide great protection.

Don’t Forget Sunglasses

Find those rated for UVA and UVB rays. The sun can cause early damage to the eyes leading to cataracts and potential blindness.


Here are the recommendations: Sun Safety Tips for Infants – who should NOT have sunscreen, but should be kept out of the sun

Here are some things to keep in mind this summer when outside with infants:
Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible.
Consult your pediatrician before using any sunscreen on your baby. If you do use a small amount of sunscreen on your baby, don’t assume the child is well protected.
Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin. Use common sense; if you hold the fabric against your hand and it’s so sheer that you can see through it, it probably doesn’t offer enough protection.
Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade at all times.
Watch your baby carefully to make sure he or she doesn’t show warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
Hydrate! Give your baby formula or breast milk if you’re out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Don’t forget to use a cooler to store the liquids.
Take note of how much your baby is urinating. If it’s less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration, and that more fluids are needed until the flow is back to normal.
Avoid combination sunscreens containing insect repellants like DEET. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths. According to the AAP, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old.
If you do notice your baby is becoming sunburned, get out of the sun right away and apply cold compresses to the affected areas.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and received his MD. Dr. Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, is a leading advocate of culinary medicine. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.