Fact or fiction?  Solar safety

Fact or fiction? Solar safety

Good morning sun! Summer is here and for many of us that means more time outdoors. It’s important to practice sunscreen all year round, but it’s especially important in the summer.

Before you leave home, take our quiz to brush up on your sunny wits and get tips for protecting your skin today and every day.

1. A sunburn is the only way exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can increase your risk of getting skin cancer.

Correct

Wrong

fiction. Exposure to UV rays doesn’t always cause sunburn, particularly in people with darker skin tones. While sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer, any lifetime UV exposure, including tanning beds and sunlamps, on any skin type can also increase your risk.

2. You need sunscreen even when it’s cloudy outside.

Correct

Wrong

Done. You don’t have to see it to hear it. Even if it’s cloudy outside, you can still get sunburned. Note: The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm and if your UV index is 3 or more, you are at risk of excessive sun exposure.

3. All people over 6 months of age should use broad-spectrum sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 15 every day and SPF 30 for days spent outdoors.

Correct

Wrong

Done. It doesn’t matter your skin tone or ethnicity, or even if you always tan or never burn: daily use of a minimum SPF of 15 can reduce the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of cancer, by 50% of the skin.

4. Freckles are caused by sun exposure.

Correct

Wrong

Done. Some freckles are genetic, but others are the result of sun exposure. Freckles result from an overproduction of melanin, which protects the skin from sun damage by absorbing and reflecting light. Freckles are common, particularly on people with lighter skin tones and people with blonde or red hair. They’re usually harmless, but contact your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin or anything out of the ordinary.

5. Sunscreen doesn’t expire.

Correct

Wrong

fiction. Sunscreen can lose its strength over time. It’s best to check the expiration date on the bottle and throw away any sunscreen that has passed its expiration date. If the bottle doesn’t have a date when you bought it, write the date you bought it on the bottle and throw it away after three years or if the color or texture changes.

6. You should apply chemical sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out.

Correct

Wrong

Done. Chemical sunscreens need time to absorb into the skin. Once they do, they absorb the UV light and turn it into harmless heat. Physical sunscreen, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, on the other hand, protects you by deflecting the sun’s rays and works right away (it can also leave a chalky white look on your skin).

7. “Waterproof” sunscreen won’t wash off in the pool or ocean.

Correct

Wrong

fiction. There is no waterproof sunscreen. Waterproof sunscreen tells you how long you’ll have protection as you enter and exit the water. For example, if the bottle states a 40 minute strength, you need to reapply every 40 minutes. If you get dry in between, you also need to reapply.

8. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, the two types of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Correct

Wrong

Done. All sunscreens protect you from sunburn, but only broad-spectrum sunscreens above SPF 15 protect you from both forms of UV rays: UVA (the ones that penetrate deeply and cause aging) and UVB (the ones that cause skin aging). skin cancer).

9. You should take a cold shower after getting a sunburn.

Correct

Wrong

Done. To help heal a sunburn, take cool showers or baths with baking soda, gently pat dry, and follow up with an aloe vera moisturizer. You may also want to take a pain reliever (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) for any swelling or pain associated with sunburn. After the burn begins to itch and/or peel, you can apply an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone or take an oral antihistamine. A sunburn can also cause dehydration, so drink more fluids for the next day or so.

10. People with darker skin tones don’t need sunscreen.

Correct

Wrong

fiction. The sunscreen rules apply to everyone. While melanoma is more common among lighter-skinned people, people of any skin tone or color can get melanoma.

Read: The ABCDE of Spotting Melanoma >>