Kevin St. Clair

Author Bio -

Key Points

Sunscreens form only a part of overall sun protection strategy.

Traditionally divided into chemical absorbers and physical blockers.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation comprises a portion of the spectrum of energy coming from the sun.

     Ultraviolet B (UVB) - direct DNA damage; sunburn.

     Ultraviolet A (UVA) - tanning; aging of the skin.

No such thing as as "safe tan."

Adaquate amount of application



Why do we need sun protection?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation emanating from the sun causes a number of changes in the skin; some well known and others less well recognized.  For instance

While consistent sunscreen use is important

UV radiation is divided into shorter wavelenght


Sunscreens were initally developed in the late 1920's


The sun protection factor (SPF) used on sunscreen labels only refers to the amount of UVB protection offered




Products that contain physical blockers work by reflecting or scattering UV radiation over a broad spectrum.  These compounds are inorganic particulates


Because a significant porportion of our vitamin D requirement is obtained via UV dependent cutaneous synthesis (the remainder being of dietary origin)


In December of 2012


Proper application of sunscreen is important.  Select a broad spectrum sunscreen with a vehicle appropriate for planned activities (e.g water resistant 80 rating for swimming or expected heavy perspiration).  Apply liberally and uniformly approximately 15 to 30 minutes before heading outdoors.  While wearing swimming attire











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