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July 05, 2022
You want to protect yourself and your family from the harmful rays of the sun — which are especially punishing at northern Nevada’s higher altitudes — but with so many options, how do you choose the right sunscreen? We asked our expert, Dr. Angela Walker, a dermatologist with Renown Medical Group, to shed some light on the subject.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, they don’t offer significantly more protection than SPF 30 and mislead people into thinking they have a higher level of protection.
Here’s the breakdown:
Due to the sensitive nature of an infant’s skin, babies under six months should not spend time in the direct sun. For infants and toddlers six months and older, whose skin is thinner than adults, a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (physical protectors) should be applied. Zinc and titanium are less likely to irritate because they do not penetrate the skin and instead sit on the surface and deflect UV radiation.
Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are vital ingredients to seek out in sunscreen due to their strong ability to deflect UV radiation.
UVA = Long wave ultraviolet light. Penetrates deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, causing tissue damage that wrinkles and photo-aging and contributes to developing skin cancer.
UVB = Short wave ultraviolet light. The biggest contributor to the development of skin cancer and are more prevalent during mid-day.
SPF = Sun protection factor. Calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin vs. unprotected skin. So, SPF 15 means you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection.