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Skin Patch Measures Person's Exposure To Sun

Sun Exposure

Researchers from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow have developed a skin patch that measures a person's exposure to the sun. The device uses chemical compounds inside the patch which react to ultraviolet (UV) light and change color to warn of a potential skin burn.

Since the device isn’t readily available just yet, so it is important to remember to use sun screen.

The best sunscreen is the one you will use. It has to "feel" good to them--not be too greasy, not have the wrong scent, be the right consistency (lotion vs cream).

It will not matter if it is SPF 15 or 45 if it never gets used. It is best to use sunscreen daily, all year around, especially on the face and neck. If you are in the habit of applying sunscreen to your face daily (even on overcast days), it won't be forgotten.

You need both UVA and UVB protection. It is the UVA rays that are most responsible for wrinkling and aging the skin. It is the UVB rays that are the most responsible for the sunburn.

The best sunscreen is minimally an SPF 15 and also has a sunblock component. The SPF rating reflects the product's ability to screen or block UVB rays only. SPF 15 blocks approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent; and SPF 50 blocks 99 percent. To protect against the UVA rays, the product needs to have avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule (Mexoryl), titanium dioxide, or micro-zinc oxide.

> Apply the sunscreen 20-30 minutes before going outside.

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> Use enough. To ensure that you get the full SPF of a sunscreen, you need to apply 1 oz – about a shot glass full.

> Reapply after getting out of the water or toweling off. Even "water-proof" sunscreens are not usually "towel-proof".

> Reapply every two hours when outside at a beach, etc. for adequate protection.

> Use even on a cloudy day. Up to 40 percent of the sun's ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day.

> Shield your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses. Squinting caused wrinkles around the eyes. The UV rays can cause cataracts.

> Wear a wide-brim hat to help protect your head & neck.

> Don't forget to apply lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.

The Skin Cancer Foundation grants its Seal of Recommendation to products that meet the Foundation's criteria for effective UV sun protection products. If you use a product make especially for the face (ie MD Forte Total Protector SPF 30 or Clinique's Super City Block Oil Free Daily Face Protector SPF 25) it will be less likely to cause skin irritation or acne outbreak with daily use. So spend more money on the face and then if you need to save money, do so on the body sunscreen (ie NO-AD SPF 30 Sport Ultra Block Lotion, Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen SPF 45).

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Skin Cancer Foundation



Hi Dr. Bates: I was searchig the net for more information on the patch you mention and came across your article. Thank you for writing about all of the ways you can help protect your skin/eyes from the sun. I lost my 32-year-old husband to melanoma and because of this experience (and being left to raise our three little boys on my own) I am very passionate about raising awareness on this much over looked disease. I actually started a company in honor of Darren and to help provide yet another option to protect ones skin. My company, UV Skinz, manufactures UV swim shirts and UV clothing for the entire family. Swim shirts aren't being mentioned on the standard 'list of ways to protect' quite yet, but I know it is just around the corner. I LOVE seeing the 'light bulb' go on in our customer's eyes when they realize how great the products are ... they can throw a swim shirt on their kids and only have to use minimal sunscreen on the areas still exposed. This means less chemicals on the skin and in our environment and more peace-of-mind knowing their little ones are protected. I would love to send you a sample UV Skinz if there is any interest. I know I may be biased, but I think our products are great. Thanks again for sharing your information. It's articles like yours that will continue to add awareness to this disease! Best, Rhonda www.uvskinz.com