Effective Use of Sunscreen

  • SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and this is calculated by showing how many times longer a person can be exposed to the sun compared with a person not using sunscreen. SPF 8 means you can stay in the sun eight times longer than someone without sunscreen. This is calculated for people using 2mg/cm². Most people use far less than this (about half) and therefore the effective SPF is reduced by half.
  • Using sunscreen with insect repellents containing DEET can decrease the SPF of the sunscreen.
  • Water resistant sunscreen lasts longer, but these will still need to be reapplied every two hours, especially as they can still be washed off with sweat or by swimming.
  • Using a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or above, which offers UVA and UVB protection is the current guideline from NICE.
  • Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and should be reapplied at two hourly intervals, and always after swimming or towel-drying.
  • After exposure to the sun creams containing aloe vera, calamine or equivalent can help to cool the skin.
  • Skin that has been exposed to the sun can be very dry, and so moisturising is beneficial.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s