Now that summer is in full swing the question of sunscreen is on the top of our list. What kind,how much, how often and what about those numbers?
According to a WebMD article on sunscreen, the "SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer."
Dermatologist James M. Spencer, MD. says "It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works. "According to Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays." "After that, it just gets silly," he says.
What everyone does seem to agree on is that some sort of protection is needed. Clothing is the most natural choice but when the temperature climbs here are some tips on sunscreen use.
There are weather apps for Apple and Android devices that will keep you up to date on the UV index in your area, and most weather websites will also tell you the UV index. So get smart about the sun and enjoy the summer.
-Patricia Milner, Head of Reference Services