Skin Protection During The Summer Heat

For people in Miami, watching the NBA Miami Heat enter the play-offs is gratifying for defending our championship title from 2012.   Why is the Miami professional team called The Heat?  Urban legends are plentiful with the naming of our city’s NBA team franchise in 1988 but “HEAT” was chosen from the contest submissions due to our warm climate.

The summer heat of South Florida means scorching temperatures starting now so that you’ll want these important skincare protection tips from Dr. Joukar at the RiteCare Medical Center.

<h2″>Sun Block and Sun Screen? Are they the same?

Both sunscreen and sun block provide protection against the sun. Sunscreen, the more commonly used type of sun protection, filters or screens the sun’s damaging rays of Ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) — keeping most rays out, but letting some in. On the other hand, sun block physically reflects the sun’s rays from the skin, blocking the rays from penetrating the skin.

Choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference and necessity. As long as you choose an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30, the current recommendation from the American Academy of Dermatologists, you are providing adequate protection for your skin.   If you are concerned about sun-related damage, visit your RiteCare physician right away.

What brand of sun protection is best?

The brand name matters much less than how often you apply the product. In general, look for water-resistant, broad-spectrum coverage with an appropriate SPF —to avoid sun-related damage like premature wrinkles or skin cancer later on in life. Check the expiration date, and follow the directions on the label.

Also, keep in mind that labeling guidelines for sunscreen in the United States are changing. Under new FDA guidelines, you should look for:

  • Broad Spectrum – only sunscreens that offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays can advertise broad-spectrum coverage on the label.  Only broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer or prevent early skin aging.
  • Sunscreens that pass a water resistance test can be labeled “water resistant” for either 40 or 80 minutes, as long as they also include instructions to reapply after 40 or 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, immediately after towel drying and at least every two hours.

Ultimately, it’s important to find a sun block or sunscreen you like. If you don’t care for the sunscreen scent or ease of application, you’re not as likely to use it consistently.