Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Holidays Hike Heart Attack RiskCould You Be Short on Vitamin D?Health Tip: Improve Your Sleep HabitsToo Much Time in the Sun? Skin Patch Might TellMore Green Space May Mean a Healthier HeartWorking More, But Getting Less Done?What Couch Potatoes Don't Know Can Hurt ThemAre You Better at Remembering Faces or Names? The Surprising AnswerA Healthier Diet, a Healthier You1 in 4 U.S. Adults Sits More Than 8 Hours a DayYet Another Selfie? You Might Be a NarcissistAll That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish ItBaby Boom or Baby Bust? What Nation-by-Nation Population Trends RevealEven a 2-Minute Walk Counts in New Physical Activity GuidelinesHealth Tip: Keep Toxins from Your HomeAHA: Poor Teeth-Brushing Habits Tied to Higher Heart RiskSleepy Drivers Involved in 100,000 Crashes a YearThink Genes Dictate Your Life Span? Think AgainA Childhood Full of Happy Memories Might Benefit Your Health TodaySunday Is 'Fall Back' Time for Your Clock -- Sleep Experts Offer TipsDecorative Contact Lenses a Danger at Halloween, Any TimeAHA: Can Daylight Saving Time Hurt the Heart? Prepare Now for SpringFacebook Posts May Hint at DepressionHere's Something to Sleep OnDrowsy Driving as Risky as Drunk DrivingScience Says 'Hug It Out'What's Your Savings Personality?Scientists Developing Blood Test for Drowsy DrivingRegular Bedtime Might Be Key to Better Health'Liking Gap' Might Stand in Way of New FriendshipsWhich of the 4 New 'Personality Types' Are You?Slaying the Couch-Potato MindsetScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainFor a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of SleepTake a Vacation, Your Heart Will Thank YouTaking a Stand at WorkCellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-BalanceSleep Deprivation May Play Role in 'Global Loneliness Epidemic'Dining Out With Smartphones Isn't AppetizingExercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a PointSnap, Polish, Post: Why Selfies May Be Bad for Your HealthHealth Tip: Have a Safer SummerShield Yourself From the Summer SunIt's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise3-Pronged Approach to Cancer PreventionYour Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You ThinkAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessGreen Spaces a Mental Balm for City DwellersYour Earliest Memories May Be FalseDoes Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Exercise
Emotional Resilience

Your Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You Think

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Jul 25th 2018

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, July 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Many people apply sunscreen too thinly, and that could mean far less sun protection than they hoped for, new research shows.

So, it might be a good idea to use sunscreens with a higher sun-protection factor (SPF) to begin with, the British researchers advised.

"What this research shows is that the way sunscreen is applied plays an important role in determining how effective it is," said study author Antony Young of King's College London.

In its study, Young's team assessed DNA damage skin samples from 16 fair-skinned people who used different amounts of sunscreen. The skin samples were exposed to levels of ultraviolet (UV) light similar to that occurring during a day out in the sun, or during a long beach vacation.

The study showed that typical amounts of SPF 50 sunscreen applied by people -- less than the recommended coverage manufacturers use to determine their SPF rating -- provided only a maximum of 40 percent of the expected protection from the sun's harmful rays.

The research showed that even at thinner applications, sunscreen did prevent at least some UV damage to exposed skin. But that level of protection rose as the amount of sunscreen applied reached manufacturer-recommended levels.

However, "given that most people don't use sunscreens as tested by manufacturers, it's better for people to use a much higher SPF than they think is necessary," Young said in a university news release.

One U.S. dermatologist said the findings are in line with the advice he gives to his patients.

"Dermatologists typically instruct patients that they should use sunscreens of SPF 30 and above, because if they use an SPF 15 on vacation they are likely only getting a third to one-half of the SPF protection as specified on the label," said Dr. Scott Flugman. He's a dermatologist at Northwell Health's Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

But even if applied more thinly than recommended, high-SPF sunscreen provides "significant protection from DNA damage, even though this sunscreen dose was much less protective than the heavier applications," he said.

Dr. Michele Green practices dermatology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She recommends that people "reapply sunscreen every two hours if outdoors. In addition, if you are fair-skinned with a predisposition to skin cancers, you should wear SPF of 50+ and protective clothing."

Clothing can be a key factor, she added. "There is an abundance of sun-protection clothing on the market which will provide additional protection against the damaging rays of the sun," Green said. "It also helps as most people only apply sunscreen on their face and do not spend the time to apply on their body as well."

The study was published July 25 in the journal Acta DV.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more on sunscreen.