With the approaching summer days, the sun started to show itself and the demand for sunscreens started to increase too. However, studies reveal that many of us do not know how to use sunscreens. It is because, different opinions about creams that are containing sun and protection factors cause to confusion for a long time. Medical Aesthetics Physician Dr. Kemali Güneş, stating that the harmful rays of the sun have been shown as one of the most important factors in the increase of skin cancer in recent years and that it is very important to protect from these rays, listed why we should use sunscreens and how to use them correctly in 5 items.
UV and SPF in sunscreens
The sun, which is at the top of the external factors that damage the skin, causes more damage due to the thinning of the ozone layer and increasing UVA permeability. The sun has two wavelengths, UVA and UVB. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value, which means the Sun Protection Factor, on the sunscreens shows the protection against UVB. When choosing sunscreen, sunscreen that shows that it is also protected against UVA should be preferred. Long wavelength UVA is effective in the deep layers of the skin. That’s why it’s the wavelength that really ages. In other words, it is responsible for photo-aging. It is responsible for early aging and wrinkle formation. It has a carcinogenic effect. UVB is short wavelength. Since it is effective on the surface layers of the skin, it is responsible for the formation of burns and stains. Even though it decreases in winter, the UVA rays continue. That’s why we should apply sunscreens in summer and winter. We recommend using sunscreen even indoors, as UVA rays can pass through glass and clouds.
Depending on the skin structure the choice of sunscreen varies.
Skin sensitive to sun: It should not be exposed to the sun directly. Sensitivity to the sun can be a congenital problem or a problem that occurs at a certain time in life. Some medical treatments can also temporarily trigger sun-sensitivity. For the reactions caused by the radiation emitted by the sun’s rays, sunscreens that provide high protection against UVA and UVB rays should be preferred.
Skin, reacting to chemical filters: People, having this skin type should definitely use sunscreens with mineral filters. Since these sunscreens have a mineral filter, they may leave white marks on the skin, but they are temporary.
Skin, having solar allergy: Recently, solar allergy has increased. Although it varies depending on skin structure and exposure time, it can be seen in everyone. Although solar allergy is not a very serious problem, it reduces the quality of life. Symptoms of solar allergy include redness, blisters and intense itching. The best method against solar allergy is to use sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection; because UVB rays protect the skin from sunburn, while UVA rays protect the skin against allergic reactions. 1:1 (SPF/UVA) ratio is important to provide strong protection; this expression indicates that a sunscreen protects against UVB and UVA rays equally. (Like SPF 50+/ UVA 50)
It should be applied to the skin at least 20 minutes before r
When choosing a sunscreen cream, you should choose creams suitable for your skin and apply these creams at least 20 minutes before going out. Creaming after going to the beach greatly reduces its effectiveness. In terms of amount, it should be spread enough to the exposed area, that is, it should be used in sufficient amount. It should be repeated every two or three hours after using the cream.
How much sunscreen should be applied?
Another mistake we make when using sunscreen is to apply a little bit so that it doesn’t run out quickly. However, if sufficient amount is not applied, sunscreens cannot show the SPF values written on them. For example, at least half a teaspoon of sunscreen should be applied to the face area. Fewer applications will cause a cream with SPF 50 to have an effect of SPF 2.7. For this reason, it says to apply abundantly in all sunscreens. Not repeating the application at sufficient intervals also leads to the same result.
If you want sunscreens to show their full effect, you should apply more than half a teaspoon to the face and neck, and more than a full teaspoon to the chest area, arms, back area and legs.
Staying in the sun for a long time is risky!
During the summer months, between 09:00 and 11:00 or after 16:00, fair-skinned people can sunbathe without sunscreen for 10 minutes on the first two days and for 20 minutes on the following days; dark-skinned people can sunbathe for 20 minutes on the first two days and 30 minutes on the following days without using any sunscreen. Basal cell or epidermoid cancer is common in those who have been under the sun for many years due to their occupation, and these cancers are common in the head, neck and organs of the body that are exposed to the sun and are rare in other parts of the body. Especially in children, more than 5 serious sunburns increase the risk of malignant melanoma. Having severe skin burns due to sun exposure increases the risk of malignant melanoma in adults. It is not seen for normal sunbathing to be effective on melanoma risk. There is no risk of cancer in the style of sunbathing suitable for the above mentioned times; even it is a kind of precaution against cancer due to the synthesis of vitamin D. However, staying in the sun for too long is risky.