5 Myths About Sunscreen

When it comes to sunscreen use, there are a lot of misconceptions that people have, which can lead to an increased risk for sunburn, skin cancer, and signs of aging. With over 3.5 million diagnoses each year, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is predicted that one in 50 Americans is diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. Protect yourself by learning about the most common myths surrounding sunscreen!

  1. It’s only necessary on sunny days – UV rays affect your skin wherever it is exposed, even through clouds, so everyday application and other protective measures like hats, sunglasses and clothing are important.
  2. A base tan can protect the skin – Any tan is indicative of UV damage, so a base tan is not going to protect your skin from further damage. Tans caused by tanning beds are the most harmful regardless of sunscreen use because it mostly emits UV rays that lead to skin cancer.
  3. Once a day is enough – Sunscreen loses its efficacy over time, so ideally it needs to be reapplied every 2-4 hours, depending on outdoor time. If you’re sweating or in water, more frequent application is necessary.
  4. All sunscreens are the same – There are chemical sunscreens that are absorbed and physical sunscreens that provide a protective barrier. Ones with titanium or zinc oxide provide a physical barrier and are generally recommended for sensitive skin.
  5. The higher the SPF, the better – Beyond an SPF of 50, there is little difference in effectiveness for protection. A higher SPF also does not mean you can apply less or less frequently.

Damage to your skin accumulates and can manifest years later, so it is important to protect your skin through daily sunscreen use. If you notice any abnormalities in your skin, consult with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Juan Vaillant at Old Bridge Dermatology for diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Vaillant provides high quality care for all types of skin, hair, and nail conditions like acne, dandruff, eczema, nail fungus and skin cancer. Contact our Old Bridge, NJ office at (732) 679-0222 for an appointment!