Recently, Dr. Taraska was featured on Winnipeg’s CTV Morning News to discuss types of sun protection that everyone should be taking into consideration, whether it be sun block, sun glasses, hats or protective clothing.
Don’t ever think “I am protected and invisible just because I wear sunscreen.” Most people do not apply enough, you should be applying 1 oz (one shot glass) per application and should be applied throughout the day.
Even on cloudy days you still need sunscreen! UVA and UVB rays are very powerful. They are able to break through clouds as well as water. If you are spending time at the beach or pool, you should not rely on waterproof sunscreen. Applications of sunscreen should continue throughout the day, especially when you are done in the water.
When you see SPF numbers, keep in mind that it only refers to UVB and does not block UVA rays, however, there are sunscreens out there that protect from both and will be stated on the bottle. At The Derm Centre we love Elta MD! There is a sunscreen for everyone and they all protect against UVA & UVB rays!
There is some stigma around sunscreens causing cancer, however, there are no human studies that have shown this. Sunscreen is used to prevent sunburns and cumulative sun exposure which are both risk factors for skin cancer. While melanoma is linked to severe sunburns, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are liked with increased sun exposure over the years.
UV exposure for Basal and Squamous cell skin cancer risk are like filling a pitcher with water. If you keep pouring the water in eventually it will over flow, so if you don’t stop the sun exposure or UV damage being added you may get skin cancer.
Adults with more sun exposure are 2.5 times more likely to get skin cancer than those who don’t. Even a sunburn as a child can increase your risk for melanoma, the most threatening type of skin cancer. The overall lifetime risk of developing melanoma climbs 80% with 5 blistering sun burns in childhood.
It’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen!!