Summer Protection Plan: Physical Sunblock vs Chemical Sunscreen

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Summer is here, and so is the sun! It’s time to talk about the importance of skin protection at The Dermatology Center of Indiana since we’re all outdoors trying to extract every moment of summer fun that we can. Sunscreen is the number one anti-aging product available---how easy is that?! It protects our skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays that can damage your skin. 'A' stands for aging and 'B' stands for burn---an easy way to remember the two types of rays that can lead to skin damage.

There are two types of sunscreen, or sunblock, available. Chemical sunscreen consists of chemicals that will absorb and block the rays from damaging your skin. It works very well, but many times it is in some of the lower SPF sunscreens as well in the less expensive ones. You must apply it at least 20 to 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun to have it be most effective.

Sunblock consists of physical blockers much like the zinc oxide that was used many years ago on the nose. Remember that white residue?! Physical sunblock has been revolutionized with micronized beads of titanium dioxide. These smaller beads won’t give skin that white glow. In addition, physical sunblock gives a broader spectrum of coverage and works immediately after applying.

It is important to not only use a minimum of SPF 30, but to reapply every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Using SPF higher than 30 only very minimally increases the effectiveness. If you are having fun in the water, although your screen or block may say ‘water resistant’ it is extremely important to realize that the water will remove some of the product. Therefore, you must be more aggressive in reapplication during water playtime.

Hats are extremely protective, providing shade over the eyes, nose, and ears. Using sun protective clothing with 50 SPF is very helpful as well. It also decreases the area that has to be covered by block or screen. Don’t forget your lips and your eyes by wearing lip balm and sunglasses.

With convenient locations in both Plainfield and Zionsville in Indiana, The Dermatology Center of Indiana looks forward to being your skin care health provider. We offer pharmaceutical grade sun protection products in both locations. If you have any other questions feel free to give us a call. To contact us you can call Plainfield at (317) 838-9911, or Zionsville at (317) 732-8980. To get more information go to our website at dermindy.com, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, or find us on Twitter @dermindy. Thanks again and have a great summer!
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Plainfield Dermatologist