Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorThe message about sunscreen has been drilled into our heads for the past couple of decades, yet the rates of skin cancer continue to steadily rise.

Are we doing something wrong here?

Evidently yes, even though more and more of us are rubbing, spraying, slathering this stuff like never before.

Here’s a checklist of what many of us are doing wrong — when we think we are doing right.

– Not using enough. You need a golfball size dollop for adequate coverage.

– Not applying often enough. You need to re-apply every two hours.

– Don’t rely on “water-resistant” for long-lasting coverage. Re-apply more frequently. And don’t look for “waterproof.” It’s off the market since there is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen.

– Forgetting about clothes and caps. You can bathe in a vat of sunscreen and it isn’t going to protect you 100 percent. Clothing and coverups will help.

– Using a spray. Seriously, we just don’t know if spray is effective. Plus, we think people tend to inhale the stuff, which may not be good in the short, or long run.

– Not using “broad spectrum.” You need the UVA and UVB protection. read the label, please.

– Not hitting SPF 15. Anything less is a swiss cheese coverage.

Then again, go past SPF50 and you’re wasting your money. SPF 80 or 100 is like applying liquid gold — and you don’t really get that much extra protection.  I use 30s and 40s.

Forget the “seal of approval” or endorsements. Sure, the Skin Cancer Foundation will stamp its seal on your product … for a $10,000 “donation”.  Oooh, now that burns.


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