‘Most of us don’t put on enough;’ It’s time to rethink how we use sunscreen


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you spent too much time in the sun over the Fourth of July holiday, don’t just shrug off your sunburn.

“If you have sunburn five or more times in your life you are around 50% more likely to get skin cancer, or melanoma,” Dr. Gautam Desai, said. “Every day in the U.S. about 20 people that die of melanoma, and one in five will get skin cancer at some point in their life.”

Many women rely on the sunscreen that is in makeup or moisturizer to protect their faces against the sun. Desai said that’s not good enough. Most of the SPF in those products are around SPF 15, Desai said people need to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

He also said that if your bathing suit or clothing don’t have UV protection, you need to wear sunscreen under your clothes.

“The best sunscreen is the sunscreen that you have,” Desai said. “The amount of sunscreen you need would fill a shot glass. Most of us don’t put on enough.”

While there are things you can do to prevent sunburn, what about if you’re already feeling the burn?

“You can try aloe vera gel, you can try some calamine lotion, you know you can try some cool compresses, and add in some ibuprofen, if you can take that. And hopefully get better in a few days,” Desai said.

He also warns that if you have other symptoms like a headache, vomiting, or are dehydrated, it may be time to consider seeing a doctor.

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