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A Sunny Myth

Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorAsk someone when most sun exposure takes place, and odds are you’ll be nodding your head at the statement that 80 percent of lifetime happens before age 18.

Sounds legit, as well as an added incentive to use sunscreen on your kid. But the fact of the matter is: most sun exposure takes place in men between ages of 40 and 50. No joke.

Sure, any age is a ripe age to start wrinkling and hatch skin cancer, but the key point here is that any age is the right age to protect yourself from the sun.

And now that the hail and crazy T-storm weather is calming, you’ll need sunscreen more than ever.

So here’s what to keep in mind:

– A T-shirt provides an SPF of about 8 and blocks 90 percent of UVB rays.

– SPF 15 blocks 93 percent.

– SPF 30 blocks 97 percent.

– SPF 50 blocks about 98.

The keys to proper use include using enough — a palmful per application.

Adult body= adult palm. Kid body = kid palm. And that application works best if allowed to penetrate the skin by applying 20 to 30 minutes before heading out.

Re-apply every 2 hours. Don’t pay attention to “waterproof” labels — re-apply every 2 hours if minimum if you take a dip.

And last but not least, wear good shades while outside. Not only are we seeing more and more skin cancer at younger ages, we’re seeing more and more cataracts as well. I’m talking age 40 here — and the sun is to blame.


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