Summertime means spending more time in the sun! Next time you head out for your fun summer activities, remember to take steps to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. In this article, Ruchi Patel, PA-C of MMC Dermatology answers some commonly asked questions about sunscreen, so you and your family can take on the summer with confidence!
What types of sunscreen do you recommend?
The best type of sunscreen is the type you will be consistent with using. We recommend using broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Are there any sunscreens to avoid?
Ones to avoid may be those with oxybenzone, as it may cause harm to coral reefs, as well as ones with vitamin A, or retinyl palmite, as it can cause skin irritation when exposed to sunlight.
How often should one reapply sunscreen? Do reapplication times differ when in water?
You should reapply broad spectrum 30+ SPF sunscreen every 2 hours when you are outdoors or if you sweat/get wet. Water proof or water resistant does not mean you do not have to reapply it whether you are the lake,pool, or ocean.
Do you treat skin health or sunscreen application differently for children vs. adults?
I typically treat adults and children the same regarding sunscreen application and sun protection. Even if sunscreen is marketed toward children, the active ingredients are usually the same as ones for adults. Both adults and children who are going to have sun exposure should wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and use broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Ruchi Patel, PA-C - MMC Dermatology
Ruchi has been a Board Certified Physician Assistant since 2015. She has worked in family medicine and dermatology in Alabama and Tennessee. Ruchi joined MMC in January 2019, where she provides a variety of clinical services to patients of all ages for acute and chronic dermatologic diseases and concerns. In her free time, Ruchi likes to read, travel, and spend time with her family, friends, and dog.