LI Summer: Sunscreen protection

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WOODBURY -

News 12 Long Island's Elizabeth Hashagen met with Dr. Dimitria Papadopoulos to take a look at how to apply sunscreen for the best protection.

Here are five tips for sunscreen use by Dr. Papadopoulos: 

1. Make sunscreen a part of your daily routine. Make it easy! Find something you like using. Apply it under makeup. Apply it 20 minutes before you go outside. Treat it like a moisturizer so it doesn't feel like a chore. 

2. Apply the right amount. When using a lotion you need one ounce, in essence a shot glass amount, to cover an average adult body. When using a spray, you need 2 to 4 seconds of continuous spraying per limb and 5 to 8 seconds of continuous spraying on the torso and back. Don't forget to spray your scalp. When using a stick, apply three to four passes back and forth on an area.

3. Look for sunscreen or sunblock that states water resistant for 80 minutes or longer. Reapply your sunscreen after excessive sweating, after swimming, using a towel to dry off or when time is up. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you it's time for reapplication. Most sunscreens are water resistant for 80 minutes.

4. Look for sunscreen or sunblock that is broad spectrum. Broad spectrum means it blocks both types of ultraviolet light, UVA (which causes premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles and skin cancer) and UVB (which causes sunburn and skin cancer). Sunscreens absorb and neutralize ultraviolet sunlight. Sunblock blocks and deflects ultraviolet rays. One isn't better than the other.

5. Use the sunscreen with the highest SPF you can find. Sunscreen should be at least an SPF 30 and higher. Recent literature shows high SPF is proven to offer clinically significant benefits in real world settings and actual use scenarios. High SPF helps avoid sunburns and provides greater UV protection and blocks the highest number of damaging sunrays. In other words, people who under apply sunscreen or work and play outside should be using the highest SPF they can get their hands on. Shade alone does not provide sufficient sun protection.

Sunscreen is for all patients not just those who are perceived at high risk. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

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