Debunking Myths about Sunscreen

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email
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A lot of valuable health information can be found on the internet. Including everyone's favorite summer sidekick: sunscreen. But how do you separate fact from fiction?

"Just a couple weeks ago I got second degree burns, so not I wear it all the time," Amber Kevilus said at the West Aquatic Center.

Sunscreen protects you from the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays, which may cause cancer.

"I absolutely wear sunscreen," Angela Lentz said, "I've had several issues in the past regarding, fortunately just basil skin cells, but have had large sections of skin removed as precaution."

But a quick search on Google shows many questioning the health benefits - and risks - of sunscreen.

"There's a lot of research that is looking at those matter and it hasn't really come to a definitive answer yet," Dr. Hostetler, a dermatologist at Aspirus said, "and so at this point we're kind of moving forward with still recommending sunscreen as being a greater benefit than the potential risk."

The internet also brings up the issue of DIY. Do-it-yourselfers are taking over internet pages like Pinterest and have options for homemade sunscreen.

"I wouldn't trust it because its not standardized and its not been tested in the lab," Dr. Hostetler said, "the sunscreen has become under much more FDA regulation so the SPF 30 is tested and tried and true in the lab."

But when you apply can be the most important part.

We all know to lather on the sunblock before heading outside and again once we've been in the sun for a few hours. But Dr. Hostetler says we also have to apply when getting in the driver's seat.

"Many people are surprised I actually take a lot more skin cancers off the left face and the left arm, because you get sun driving around in your car, and not just at the pool," Dr. Hostetler said.

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