As temperatures rise, so does the risk of sunburn. We don’t want you to avoid a central park picnic, but we do want you to be as safe as possible. Zoe Ruderman with Cosmopolitan wrote an article (which can be found here) about the 2011 regulations for practicing safe sun.
The first thing to understand is what you need protection from: sun rays in general. If a sunscreen protects against UVB rays, UVA may still be damaging your skin, especially those with SPF values under 15. The cancerous rays are still a serious hazard.
Next, “waterproof” really probably means “water resistant,” so be careful at the beach or pool. Make sure your face and shoulders are well covered to protect against reflected rays, and reapply when you get out.
Because of these common misconceptions, the FDA requires anything with under SPF 15 will come with a warning, and waterproof/sweatproof cannot be printed on the packaging.
If a package advertises as “broad spectrum,” now you know that they’ve been tested for UVA and UVB rays and work.
Want a more hi-tech way to stay safe? Cosmo highlights five apps that help check your skin for damage that needs attention. They are:
- Copptertone My UV Alert: check UV levels in your area, alter you when it’s time to reapply
- UMSkinCheck: watch for changing/growing moles and freckles
- Have You Checked Your Skin Lately?: a risk calculator tailored to your lifestyle, a how-to for skin checks
- MelApp: send in pictures of moles to be checked by the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, get a list of specialists in your area
- Sun Safe: uses location and skin type to customize what SPF you should be using at that time/place
We expect more to pop up over time as these become more popular. Rosetta Radiology wants you to stay as safe as possible!