Is Your Sunscreen Killing You?: Three Important Reminders About Sunscreen Use Compiled by Advanced Aesthetics Sunscreens must be used appropriately to provide protection against the sun's damaging rays

ATLANTA, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Is your sunscreen dangerous? It just may be, if not used properly. Relying only on SPF ratings and words on labels such as "waterproof," consumers can be lulled into a sense of false security and ignore basic guidelines about sun protection products. 

Consumers may be at risk for developing cancer and skin damage, the very problems they were trying to avoid, if they don't choose products that provide broad-spectrum protection and if they don't use sunscreen liberally and frequently.

Here are three important reminders about sunscreen use:

  • Your sunscreen must contain adequate protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. While many sunscreens protect against UVB rays, the ideal sunscreen should provide broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays that cause burns and cancers as well as the UVA rays that contribute to cancers and cause wrinkles and tanning. Mineral-based sunscreens, those that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or ecamsule, are generally considered to provide adequate protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • You must apply sunscreen often. One application of sunscreen is not enough for all-day protection, no matter the SPF value listed for the product. In addition, a sunscreen labeled "waterproof" can't be trusted to provide all-day protection, as any product will eventually wash off. Sunscreen should be re-applied at least every two hours, or more often if you've been sweating heavily or swimming.
  • You must apply an adequate amount of sunscreen. If the proper amount of product isn't applied, it will not deliver the SPF value it's formulated to provide. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends one ounce of sunscreen—a shot glass full—per application, but studies show that consumers generally apply only one-quarter of that amount. In practical terms, users should cover all exposed areas of skin with a generous coating of sunscreen.

New FDA regulations that will become effective in December 2012 require labeling on all sunscreens to more accurately describe the protection provided by the product. Currently, a common sense approach to preventing cancer and sun damage is to use a broad-spectrum product, applying it liberally and often; avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m; and wear additional protective clothing such as a hat.

Treatments and therapies available from board-certified plastic surgeons can help reverse sun damage. Non-surgical options such as injectables can reduce the appearance of lines caused by excessive sun exposure; some dermal fillers can stimulate collagen production to help restore youthful-looking skin. Microdermabrasion, laser treatment, photo-rejuvenation therapy, and chemical peels can also help repair photodamage. Physician-grade sunscreens are also available to help prevent sun damage from occurring.

About Advanced Aesthetics, PC: Advanced Aesthetics is one of the most successful Atlanta-area cosmetic surgery practices, with offices in four south Atlanta locations: Fayetteville, LaGrange, McDonough, and Newnan. Advanced Aesthetics and Truffles MediSpa share the building at One Prestige Park, 874 West Lanier Avenue, Suite 100, Fayetteville, GA 30214. They can be reached by phone at 770-461-4000 or at

Media Contact: Dr. Paul Feldman, Advanced Aesthetics, PC, 770-461-4000,

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SOURCE Advanced Aesthetics, PC


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