Important Tips for Sunscreen Season


7/12/2019

By Linda Brown, MD
 
Summer has arrived! Along with longer days, children out of school, cookouts, beach trips and all of the other fun associated with the season, comes the importance of using sunscreen. Sunscreen is proven to prevent skin cancer by protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays. It also reduces painful sunburns.
 
Here are some important things to keep in mind about using sunscreen:
 

  • The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Use sunscreen whenever you are outside — no matter how strong the sun’s rays are.
  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover all of your exposed skin. This means about one ounce for adults. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  • Babies younger than six months old should not use sunscreen. If they are outdoors, they should be protected from the sun with light clothes and a light blanket. Try to keep young babies in the shade as much as possible. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can help protect their skin. (And make for adorable photos, too!)
  • Parents of infants six months and older can apply water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or highter to their child’s exposed skin, based on the instructions on the label.
  • Some sunscreens have an expiration date on the bottle. If the expiration date has passed, discard the sunscreen. The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years. If a date is not on the bottle, write the date you purchase the sunscreen on the bottle and then discard it after three years.
  • Always have sunscreen handy wherever you go this summer — keep a bottle in the car, in a diaper bag, in your bike basket, and other places that are convenient.
 
Emerson Hospital, in partnership with IMPACT Melanoma, is pleased to sponsor 15 sunscreen dispensers throughout Concord, Bedford, Westford, Hudson, Sudbury, Acton, and Maynard this summer. These dispensers are for public use and are located in high-traffic locations such as parks, beaches, rail trails, and athletic fields. An ounce of sunscreen is worth a pound of cure!
 
Dr. Linda Brown with Emerson Family Medicine, Maynard’s first family medicine practice, provided this information. To make an appointment for you, your child, or other family members, please contact Emerson Family Medicine of Maynard at 978-318-1870.