- Look for products with an SPF of 15 to 50, that are labeled “broad spectrum protection” meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Keep babies younger than 6 months out of the sun, as their skin is especially sensitive. Sunscreens should not be used on infants. According the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, combination sunscreens containing insect repellants like DEET should be avoided with young children. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths.
- Try to keep older children inside when the sun is harshest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles the risk of melanoma later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
- Avoid sunscreen sprays. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned sunscreen powders (though some products may be available). The spray may be inhaled into the lungs causing respiratory issues.
- Products containing Vitamin A, retinol or its derivatives, such as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not banned these products, but they are concerned that the additives increase sun sensitivity.
- According to the New York Times, consumers should take endorsements and seals of approval with a grain of salt. The Skin Cancer Foundation gives a “seal of recommendation” to sunscreens, but only if their manufacturer has donated $10,000 to become a member of the organization.
- Use the ABCD rules for identifying skin lesions that need immediate attention.
B - Border: A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
C - Color: A mole that is more than one hue is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole. Melanoma cells usually continue to produce melanin, which accounts for the cancers appearing in mixed shades of tan, brown and black.
D - Diameter: If it is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry). But, don't be fooled by size alone - it can be smaller.
E - Elevation/Evolving: Elevation means the mole is raised above the surface and has an uneven surface. Looks different from the rest or changing in size, shape, color.
Any information received on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure skin cancer. This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical care. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Proper medical attention should always be sought for specific ailments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on sun-protection-and-products-guide.com.