Sun exposure causes 65 percent of melanoma skin cancer and 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers! Learn how to get a perfect tan without being exposed to harmful rays, and keep your skin safe with alternatives to sunscreen.

Sunscreen Sensitivity
Many people are allergic to PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, a compound often used in sunscreen. If you are, look for a sunscreen labeled PABA-free, but make sure it still contains titanium or zinc to protect you from the sun’s harmful radiation. Learn about sunscreen alternatives .

Is sunscreen toxic?

Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide

Sun Safety
Sun exposure causes 65 percent of melanoma skin cancer and 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers! Learn how to get a perfect tan without being exposed to harmful rays, and keep your skin safe with alternatives to sunscreen.

UV-Apparel Protection CVS/pharmacy: The Importance of Sun Protection
In a prior Health Scare Experiment, 18-year-old Tori visited the tanning salon at least once per day, despite knowing her risks for skin cancer. Now, The Doctors are happy to report that Tori uses spray to obtain the glow she desires instead of the harmful rays of tanning beds; however, the sun can be as harmful to your skin as tanning beds and CVS MinuteClinic family nurse practitioner Meredith Dixon shares tips for proper sun protection.

“Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States,” Meredith says. “So it’s very important to think about sun protection.” “Exposure to the sun or tanning beds causes your skin to age prematurely,” plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says. “Wear sunglasses with 100% UV ray protection and try to wear protective clothing and a wide brimmed hat, especially when going to the beach. “Some facial treatments and cosmetics are made with alphahydroxy acids, which increase skin’s sensitivity to sun,” Dr. Ordon adds. ”Be sure to read the labels on the products before you use them.”

Sun Protection Tips:
• The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so try to limit your time outdoors during those hours. If you must be outside during that time, be sure to use proper protection.
• Wear protective clothing such as sunglasses with 100% UV ray protection, wide-brimmed hats and clothes containing SPF.
• When at the beach, bring an umbrella for shade.
• Always wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and be sure to apply 30 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun. Remember to reapply every one-and-a-half to two hours.

This year, a new labeling system is being enforced on sun protection products. Any product labeled “broad spectrum” must have an SPF higher than 50 to properly protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Products that do not provide broad spectrum with an SPF lower than 50 will have a warning label. “Take note that sunscreens eventually always wash or wear off,” Dr. Ordon says. “Protection is not an all day guarantee.”

Sunburn Care
Dr. Ordon  and Editor-in-Chief of Fitness Magazine, Betty Wong, discuss the best way to care for a peeling sunburn.

Dr. Ordon says that the blisters that form after a sunburn act as a natural dressing for tender, burned skin and advises against peeling it . He recommends soothing it with aloe straight from the plant and Betty recommends lavender oil.

"Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory qualities," Betty says. "Sit in the bath with a few drops of lavender oil, and voila, the pain is gon

Shield Your Skin with SPF
The most effective method of sun care is prevention, and when it comes to sunblock, there are a number of different options. Sun protection factor 30, or SPF 30, means you can stay in the sun 30 times longer than without SPF, but it is essential to re-apply it every two hours. Be sure to use SPF 30 or above anytime you're exposed to the sun.

Makeup containing SPF will not properly protect you from UV rays. Smooth on a layer of SPF 30 moisturizer as a base before applying foundation for a healthy, protected glow.

Babies are especially sensitive to the sun, as they lack the protective melanin that adults have in their skin, but sunscreen cannot be applied to the skin of babies under 6 months old. Some parents cover the carseat or stroller with a towel as a sunshade, but this can trap in a dangerous level of heat. For a safer solution to shielding your infant from the sun, try the Babba Cover -- a breathable, mesh fabric that has an SPF of 50 and fits over all standard carseat carriers. Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears advises against using the Babba Cover on the carseat while driving, as you should be able to see your baby while on the road.

Some prescriptions, such as antibiotics and acne medication, can make the skin more sensitive to sun damage. Skin cancer develops in response to prolonged sun exposure and burning. Melanocytes in the deeper layers of the epidermis grow and form a tumor called a melanoma. The melanoma can then spread throughout the body and mutate into a fatal form of skin cancer. Adequate sunscreen and limited exposure to the sun are excellent weapons to fend off skin cancer.

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