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How to apply sunscreen to decrease your risk of melanoma

Updated on November 8, 2013

Tanning on the Beach


Little facts about using sunscreen

Here are a few little known facts about sunscreen:

Use a water based sunscreen if you are prone to acne or oily skin.

Sunscreen is more effective when applied to wet skin.

Toweling off after swimming will cause removal of sunscreen.

Water resistant sunscreens are only effective for 45-80 minutes.

Apply sunscreen after your normal skin products but before makeup.

Wait 30 minutes after applying skin products before applying sunscreen.

Shake your sun screen bottle very well to ensure all particles are mixed.

Sunscreen is imperative for saving your skin from sun damage. Following the tips in this article will ensure that you apply your sun screen for maximum protection.

Sunscreen is used to protect the skin from the suns harmful Ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays. Using the right kind of sunscreen, with the correct sun protection factor (SPF) and applying it correctly, can ensure that you will be properly protected from the suns harmful rays and reduce your risk of melanoma. This article focuses on the proper use of sunscreen to provide maximum protection from the sun.

Recommended dose of sunscreen:

Sunscreen should be at least 30 SPF (Sun protector factor) in order to properly protect your skin from the sun. It should contain zinc oxide and/ or titanium oxide. The coverage should be broad spectrum and waterproof or at least water resistant.

How to apply sunscreen:

A full ounce or two of sunscreen should be applied to all exposed areas approximately 30 minutes before going out in the sun. A teaspoon should be applied to your face alone. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming. Wear breathable clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50-plus and wear a wide brimmed floppy hat to protect your head, face and eyes.

Sunscreens do not block the sun or provide 100 percent protection from it. A small amount of UV radiation can still reach your skin. Avoid the sun from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M., when the sun rays are at there strongest.

What does sunscreen protect you from?:

Sunscreen protects the skin from sunburn, sun poisoning, premature wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer (melanoma). A sunburn can cause red, inflamed skin, swelling of the skin, edema, blisters, chills and fever. Melanoma is a seriou form of skin cancer caused by sun exposure.


Melanoma is a the most serious form of skin cancer. It is characterized by uncontrolled growth of pigment producing tanning cells. Symptoms of melanoma include a change in an existing mole and/or a new unusual growth on your skin.

The cause of melanoma is unknown but it is thought to be caused from excessive exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays. More than 73 percent of skin cancer deaths are caused from melanoma. Melanoma can spread to your internal organs and cause death.

Melanoma can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. Risks for melanoma can be decreased by applying sunscreen correctly, staying out of the sun, wearing protective clothing and wearing a wide-brimmed floppy hat when outside.

Applying the correct strength of sunscreen, the right way, as described in this article can help prevent damage caused by the sun. Sunscreen should be used every day, even on cloudy days, to help decrease the risks of developing melanoma.

It is recommended that you check your skin every year on your birthday for a change in the appearance of moles and/or a new, unusual looking growths on your skin. If you find any suspicious looking mole or growth, make an appointment with your doctor to have it looked at.


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