President's Prescription: Get the most from your sunscreen

Presiden'ts Prescription: maintaining healthy skin

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The American Cancer Society warns us that sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, which is why we should be pro-active and wear sunscreen to help avoid that risk.

But, wouldn't it be a waste if you used sunscreen regularly -- but not the right stuff or applied the right way.

Dr. Tedd Mitchell, president of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, joined us and told us how to get the most protection out of our sunscreen.

This is the President's Prescription:

More than 3 million Americans are treated every year for skin cancer. And, more than 10,000 people die every year from melanoma. If you're going to spend time in the sun, it's important to protect your skin. Now, fortunately, more people today than yesterday know about the benefits of sunscreen. But, its important to understand if the sunscreen you're using is the right one and how to apply it.

First, select a sunscreen that can protect you both from UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are covered by the SPF coverage noted on all sunscreen. Look for a "broad spectrum" sunscreen with a 30-50 SPF protection for the best coverage.

Remember to wear sunscreen every single day, even if you are wearing cosmetics that contain SPF or even if it's cloudy. Cloud cover only blocks about 20 percent of UV rays, and the remaining 80 percent are sure to damage your skin.

Remember to reapply throughout the time that you're in the sun. Generally, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours or more often if you're going to be in the water.

Finally, remember that cream sunscreens generally work a little more effectively than the spray on type for protecting your skin from the sun. Be sure to see your doctor if you see any skin changes that alarm you.

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