Wearing Sunscreen to prevent sun damage

Applying Sunscreen to prevent sun damage

It’s crucial to wear sunscreen each and every day. On sunny days? Absolutely. On cloudy days? You better believe it. What about on a rainy day? The answer is still yes. Wear your sunscreen. Let’s look at the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Is wearing sunscreen on an overcast day necessary?

You get up, have breakfast, and begin making plans for your day outside. You have a lot of cloud cover and think to yourself how comfortable it will be outside today. And since the sun won’t be beating down on your skin, you don’t need to stress about applying sunscreen. WRONG! Dermatologists state that up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate light cloud cover. You can still get a sunburn and sun damage on pleasant days. Rather than risk the damage to your skin, apply sunscreen.

Should I wear sunscreen on days that aren’t centered around outdoor activities?

Yes, it is still ideal to wear sunscreen even on days you are going to not be outside. If you are in your car you are being exposed to the sun’s rays. If you are indoors but near a window, you are still vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Some windows do have UV protective film.

If you are spending your early morning or evening hours outside, you may not be able to get sunburnt, but you are being exposed to the sun’s rays as long as it is daylight outside. Continued exposure to UV rays without protection makes you more vulnerable to sun damage and possible cancer. It isn’t worth the risk.

What type of sunscreen is best?

There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical and physical

  • Chemical sunscreen is known to provide a more complete protection from UV rays. The chemicals soak into the skin and then absorb the UV rays. The sunscreen allows the rays to be converted into heat and then released from your body. This type of product isn’t best for all people though as some individuals with sensitive skin may have reactions.
  • Physical sunscreen is a zinc oxide based product which sits on top of the skin rather than being absorbed. It can be thicker and more difficult to apply but is better for those with sensitive skin and children. A minimum of 10% zinc oxide is recommended for the sunscreen to be effective.

Why is sun damage so important?

You know you can get a sunburn when you don’t protect your skin but that’s short lived. Why does this matter so much? It’s pretty simple: sunburns can lead to skin cancer. Just one or two blistering sunburns as a child doubles your lifetime risk of melanoma. Not all skin cancer is melanoma, there is also non-melanoma skin cancer which is often basal or squamous cell carcinoma. As much as 90% of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. Protect your skin so that you aren’t dealing with this ugly beast.  

Your local pharmacies care about your well being. If not currently with a small pharmacy, now is the time to visit College Park Pharmacy, Howard’s Pharmacy, Mooney’s Pharmacy, or P&S Pharmacy. We are small businesses here in East Tennessee who pride ourselves in customer service. We want to gain your trust and build a relationship with you. Each of our teams strive to put patients first and help you improve your health. Please come by and see us.