Babies and sunscreen: Understanding the risks and alternatives
Most people already know how that you should apply sunscreen to all uncovered skin. But some people don’t know when or how often they should use it.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - With all the nice weather we’re having, you don’t want your outside activities cut short because your skin is burning. Doctors are warning people to make sure they are properly using and applying sunscreen while having fun in the sun.
Most people already know how you should apply sunscreen to all uncovered skin. But some people don’t know when or how often they should use it.
“They assume they can just apply it when they’re already at their activity or they’re already at the pool or at the beach but you actually have to apply it about 10 to 15 minutes beforehand,” said Dr. Susan Massick.
Massick, a dermatologist, said that you should reapply your sunscreen every two to three hours. She said broad-spectrum protection that is water resistant is the best sunscreen to use. “We want to make sure we’re using the type that is both UVA and UVB protective.”
Massick recommends applying sunscreen to all areas of your body that are exposed to sunlight. “Whether it’s your face, your ears, hands, feet.”
Doctors are also warning parents to not use sunscreen on babies that are 6 months old and younger. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, using sunscreen on babies could have painful side effects - like a rash.
Sparrow Family Medicine Doctor, Dylan McKay, said that’s because babies are “a little less tolerant to sunscreen.”
McKay recommends protecting your baby from direct sunlight.
“Meaning you should have light but long-sleeve clothing on them cause they cannot regulate their temperature very well either, similar to our elderly population,” McKay said.
But said that if you absolutely have to use sunscreen on a baby, he recommends using SPF-30 in very small amounts.
Dr. Amy Kassouf, Dermatologist, has another sunscreen warning for kids and adults.
“If you use something too rich in the summer, you may break out, or you may get those little milia, everybody hates those little, tiny white cysts that they get from too rich of a moisturizer – from kids all the way through adults.”
Dr. Kassouf said that while everyone may think the tiny white cysts come from aging, that’s not the case. She said switching skincare products in hotter months will cause less skin damage for people who are applying sunscreen, lotion, and makeup.
Just like sunscreen, an umbrella can also block UV rays from damaging your skin.
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