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Sunscreen 101

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
SUSAN CINGARI: Hi, I'm Susan Cingari, and welcome to our webcast from sunny Miami.

In the past, a tan was thought to be a sign of health, not to mention sex appeal. But over the years we've discovered what sun can really do to your sun, from premature wrinkles to skin cancer. And with this new understanding have come developments in the way we protect our skin.

Joining me now to discuss advances in sun care are two experts from the University of Miami. Dr. Betty Bellman, good morning, Dr. Bellman, thank you for joining us, and Dr. Barry Resnik.

So talk to me a little bit about how the history of SPF has come about. WE know that we're supposed to be wearing a higher SPF, as we've discovered what sun can do to our skin.

BARRY RESNIK, MD: The minimum is a 15. anything less than that I liken to using water on your skin. In the past we've had as high as 60 and for people with a certain condition that it's really necessarily. But if you've got a 15 and you use it correctly and you use it daily, you're going to protect yourself.

BETTY BELLMAN, MD: 15 is the magic number, 30 is acceptable as well, those are the two main numbers that the American Academy of Dermatology promotes. Any numbers in between are really maybe 2 percent better or 3 percent better than the other brand, but 15 and 30 are the two key numbers.

SUSAN CINGARI: There's so much other out to choose from, there's like lotions, potions, gels, foams, sprays. What about some other changes in sunscreen? I know there's some stuff specifically geared to kids that's kind of fun to use.

BARRY RESNIK, MD: You've got glitters, you've got lotions that are pink as you put them and then they rub it and disappear so that you know you've covered the areas. The advantage of glitter is that as long as you've got the glitter on there, you can assume that you've having some protection, and the kids are going to like to use it, and that's really important.

BETTY BELLMAN, MD: There are sunscreens out there that are fragrance-free, which is really important. There are sunscreens that are greaseless, non-comedogenic, which means they won't make you break out in whiteheads or blackheads. There are sunscreens that are in your moisturizer already, so that you can get moisturizer and sunscreen at the same time. There are lipsticks with sunscreen, foundations and base for women with sunscreen, so there are a lot of new advances.

BARRY RESNIK, MD: There is even now clothing with sunscreen. Except it's not a sunscreen, it actually has an inherent sun protection factor, because it's so tightly woven it won't let the light through.

SUSAN CINGARI: Do those really work, though?

BARRY RESNIK, MD: Absolutely. And the people who benefit from them the most are fishermen, people who are out in the sun on a daily basis for their livelihood.

SUSAN CINGARI: What do you think is next as far as sun damage protection goes?

BARRY RESNIK, MD: I think that the newest thing out there, the thing coming down the pike is a morning after lotion, where it's going to have a factor in it that's going to be able to alleviate and actually change back some of the damage that you've gotten with sun exposure. And that is in the works, it's in the research stage.

BETTY BELLMAN, MD: Also a pill. Eventually in the next 10 or 20 years, they're going to have a pill that you can take to look tanned. And that's way in the future but that is something that's also being done in the research laboratory.

SUSAN CINGARI: I want one of those right now.

BETTY BELLMAN, MD: We all do.

SUSAN CINGARI: Any other tips you'd like to offer us today?

BARRY RESNIK, MD: Use it or lose it. If you don't use it, you're going to lose it.

BETTY BELLMAN, MD: The sun damage is not just every day and it's not from 20 years ago, it's just accumulation of your whole life time. So if you wear a sunscreen and you like it, you're going to see the benefits later on as you age.

SUSAN CINGARI: Dr. Barry Resnik, thank you for your time, some great advice, and Dr. Betty Bellman, thank you as well for your time, some great advice.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Susan Cingari from Miami.

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