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Sunscreen Woes: What Now?

Skin cancer is the #1 diagnosed cancer in the world, and we are all layering ourselves and our children in sunscreen these days trying to prevent them from this same future. And it’s all over the internet-the newest studies are showing the active ingredients in sunscreen are absorbed at high levels! What do we do now to protect our kids and ourselves??

It does make some sense that this could happen – our skin is our largest organ, so if you are continuously applying something to it, it is bound to be absorbed to some degree depending on what it is. What we still don’t know is how important this information is. Are these substances that are being absorbed toxic to us? We still need a lot more research before we will really know.
So, what do we do in the meantime? Throw all those sunscreens away? Not yet!
I asked a friend and colleague, local Dermatologist extraordinaire Whitney Hovenic, MD from Skin Cancer and Dermatology Institute for her recommendations. At this point, if you are concerned about absorption of chemicals in sunscreen, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide actually physically block the suns rays from the skin and work well, and are not absorbed into the bloodstream. She likes Elta Md particularly because it’s easier to apply than some of the others, but truly the best sunscreen is the one you will use regularly, whatever brand that is!
And don’t forget, you MUST reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating, as no sunscreen is waterproof!
For those moms on the go, one other gem she offered is a product for all you busy mommas out there called Alastin Hydratint. It’s SPF 38 for the face and is tinted. She says it gives everyone’s skin a little glow, and for busy moms on the go it’s a great product to put on and run out the door.
Of course, the best way to avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun when the rays are the strongest, between 10 am and 4 pm. And if that’s not an option, wearing light-colored protective clothing that covers the arms, torso, and legs, with hats and sunglasses also are excellent at reducing exposure to harmful rays.
So don’t shun sunscreen too quickly. You will certainly still see me out and about applying sunscreen to myself and my children.
And one more pearl of information:
More people develop skin cancer from indoor tanning than develop lung cancer from smoking!!!! Don’t do it.

About Amanda Magrini

Amanda Magrini
Amanda Magrini, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician at Northern Nevada Medical Group’s Los Altos location in Sparks. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno and her medical training at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Dr. Magrini has practiced family medicine for seven years, including residency, and enjoys her specialty, because she likes taking care of the whole family, from newborns to grandparents. She likes preventative medicine, helping people take care of themselves and the relationships she is able to form with her patients. Dr. Magrini grew up in Sparks, NV and likes that it is a safe place to live with great educational opportunities and beautiful scenery. She thinks Northern Nevada is a great place to raise a family and looks forward to raising her own children here. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, boating, running and traveling the world. Dr. Magrini is also very close with her family; she is married to her high school sweetheart and values spending time with him and the rest of her family. Disclosure: "The author is a licensed physician practicing with Northern Nevada Medical Group, but all opinions expressed are solely the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Northern Nevada Medical Group or any other affiliates of Universal Health Services, Inc."

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