Q: What SPF level sunscreen should I use this summer?
A: Sweet summer and trips to our favorite barrier island will be here before we know. Before you pack up the family and head to Dauphin Island make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it only takes 15 minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin.
The CDC says skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Here is something to think about, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all the other cancers combined. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
I recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to guard your skin. Apply it 30 minutes before being in the sun for best results, and every two hours after. However, sunscreen should not be your only defense against the summer sun. For best protection, wear protective gear such as a hat, sunglasses, and sun-safe clothing with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). One final tip before you slather on the sunscreen make sure to check its expiration date. Most have a shelf life so throw out any past its expiration date. Your skin will thank you.
Have fun this summer while protecting your health and if you do not have a primary care team, call Accordia Health at (251) 824-8320.
We would love to take care of you! Email: AskTheDoctor@AccordiaHealth.org to submit a health-related question to “Ask The Doctor.” Questions are reviewed and chosen at random to answer each month. All information including your identity and email address will not be disclosed. The advice given is based on the limited information supplied in the email and is no substitution for a visit to your primary care physician. Accordia Health is a family care practice located in Bayou La Batre, AL.