Sun damage afflicts nearly everyone within their lifetime, especially if they are a full or part-time resident of the Sunshine State. As dermatologists at Skin Wellness Physicians, we explain that damage manifests itself in a number of ways—namely in ways that can lead to skin cancers and premature aging. No matter which consequence of damage it is that we are trying to fight, prevention is key.
Luckily, sun protection comes in a variety of forms, and we continue to acquire more preventative tools each year. Most familiar among those tools is sunscreen, now available in numerous formulations (lotions, creams, gels, and powders), and, more recently, sun protective clothing.
Unfortunately, our SPF and UPF tools are not foolproof. They perform at their best when used properly and consistently. Though it is true that the best sunscreen is the one that you wear, we are partial to those that are above 30 SPF and those that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
A common mistake we see when using sunscreen is forgetting to apply it to several frequently neglected sites. Among those are the ears, the back of the neck, the eyelids, the lips, and the tops of the feet. It is recommended that you cover all sites that are vulnerable to the sun with a generous layer of product and reapply every two hours—and more often if swimming or sweating.
Overall, if you use the right sunblock, apply liberally (and reapply), and make sure to cover all sites that are exposed, you will be in a good position to adequately protect your skin while still enjoying the beautiful Florida sun.