Tag Archives: spf

Preventing skin cancer in children begins with the right sunscreen

"Young, developing skin may be particularly vulnerable to UV rays," said Lawrence Eichenfield, MD, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. "If your child is getting intense sun exposure playing outdoors, she’s in danger of developing melanoma — the most serious type of skin cancer — even if she has what appears to be a healthy tan." Parents should consider the following to make the best sunscreen choice: •Sun Protection Factor (SPF) — Pick an SPF of 15 or higher. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection from sunburn caused mostly by UVB rays, not UVA. Also, the higher SPF does not increase the length of time for sun exposure…

How to keep your kid healthy this summer

Summer’s right around the corner and as the weather warms up and your kids get ready for endless days at the beach, pool and park, keeping them healthy is your top priority. Find out how to prevent and treat the most common ailments so your kids will be healthy all summer long. Sunburn According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one blistering sunburn before the age of 18 doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—later on in life. “The most important thing is prevention,” said Dr. Gary Goldenberg, medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.  Goldenberg recommended checking the UV index to find out what your your risk for sunburn is. “It’s not enough to just look outside and say, ‘It’s hot, but it’s cloudy so the chance of sunburn is low,’” he said. Thirty minutes before heading outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50. Since the FDA doesn’t measure higher numbers, you might be getting an SPF 50 anyway, Goldenberg said. Be sure to reapply every time your kid comes out of the water and every few hours. Keep your kid in the shade when possible, and dress him in clothing with UPF protection. If your kid does get a sunburn, Vaseline, aloe or Aquaphor can help to ease discomfort. If the burn is severe, a pediatrician might prescribe a topical or oral steroid. Poison ivy, oak, sumac If your kid comes into contact with any of these plants—through skin or clothing—the potent oil urushiol can cause a rash of linear streaks or blisters that is extremely itchy. Depending on how much your child has been exposed to, the rash can show up right away on one part of the body and then on another a few days later, Goldenberg said.  Plus, scratching the rash can help transfer it to another part of the body. Applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream is usually the best way to treat the rash, yet sometimes a topical or oral steroid might be needed. Be sure to wash your child’s clothing several times in hot water, because the oil can live on clothing for months, according to Dr. JJ Levenstein, a retired, board certified pediatrician and founder MDMoms.com The best way to prevent getting this nasty rash? Follow the old saying: Leaves of three, let it be. Mosquito bites These little bugs, which start to emerge as the sun sets, can be super itchy when they bite. Long sleeves and pants are best to keep them at bay, but if it’s too hot outside, a bug spray with DEET is most effective.  A word of caution: Since DEET has been shown to be toxic to the central nervous system, experts agree it shouldn’t be used on young children.  Apply DEET carefully so your child doesn’t inhale it, and be sure to bathe him or her before bedtime. Hydrocortisone is usually the best way to treat mosquito bites, although your pediatrician might prescribe a topical steroid. Bee stings A bee sting might hurt, but in some kids, it can cause an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can cause the airways to close. If your kid has been stung and he or she is having trouble breathing, go to the emergency room immediately. If you notice the welt getting larger and larger after each bee sting, speak with his or her pediatrician about carrying an EpiPen, Goldenberg said. Protective clothing, repellent sprays and staying away from bees are the best prevention. Ticks If your kid will be walking through wooded areas or through tall grasses, a tick could possibly latch onto his or her skin, putting them at risk for Lyme disease.  This condition is most common among children ages 5 to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tucking pants into socks, hair into hats and wearing long sleeves can help. Be sure to check your kid from head to toe for ticks, because the sooner you catch one, the easier it is to remove. If you’re unable to remove it, your child’s pediatrician might run some tests and prescribe antibiotics. Dehydration and heat stroke If your child doesn’t drink enough fluids, long, hot days in the sun can spell trouble for your kid in the form of dehydration, or worse, heat stroke. “Heat stroke means that you’re overheated to a point where you actually start to become a little delirious,” said Levenstein. “Your pulse is rapid, you feel dizzy and incoherent and your core body temperature could rise above 98.6 degrees. You lose your ability to cool yourself down because you’re out of sweat.” Kids under the age of 6 should pre-hydrate 30 minutes before heading outdoors with two to three large cups of water; older kids should drink a liter of water. They should re-hydrate every 30 to 60 minutes and urinate every three to four hours.  If your kid is playing sports, every second or third drink should have electrolytes in it to replace the sodium lost through sweat.Julie Revelant is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, health, food and women's issues and a mom. Learn more about Julie at revelantwriting.com.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/26/how-to-keep-your-kid-healthy-this-summer/

Heading to the beach? New SPF regulations issued by the FDA

In the summer of 2011, Andrea Syglowski noticed a mole she’d had her entire life was starting to look different. Concerned, she booked an appointment with a dermatologist, and within a week was diagnosed with stage-0 melanoma – an early phase of the deadliest type of skin cancer. A week later, Syglowski, a Philadelphia-based actress who is in her 20s, underwent surgery to remove the mole, leaving her with a five-inch scar on her leg. Syglowski said that while she used sunscreen before her diagnosis, she now realizes she didn’t always use it correctly. “I think all I knew was that I needed to have it on,” Syglowski told FoxNews.com. Skin cancer affects millions of people like Syglowski every year, but many remain confused about the basic rules of sunscreen application. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently implemented new changes to sunscreen labeling, which aim to clear up some of the confusion. Here’s what to look for on sunscreen labels this summer. ‘Broad spectrum’ protection There are two types of ultraviolet light: UVA and UVB rays.  Currently, all sunscreens contain UVB protection, which shields the skin against cancer-causing sunburns. But not all sunscreens are required to have UVA protection, which protects against both skin cancer and aging. “UVB is what causes a sun burn; UVA doesn’t sunburn you. But now, we want something more. We want sunscreens to prevent cancer and wrinkles in addition to sunburn,” Dr. James Spencer, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and a board certified dermatologist in St. Petersburg, Fla., told FoxNews.com. According to the new FDA guidelines, new sunscreen labels can only claim that they offer “broad spectrum protection” if they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. “When we say broad spectrum, we mean we're covering both UVA and UVB as wide in the spectrum as we can cover,” pharmacist Ian Ginsberg, owner of C.O. Bigelow in New York City, told FoxNews.com. Furthermore, sunscreens can now only claim to “prevent cancer” and “prevent wrinkles” if they contain both UVA and UVB protection. “It turns out that UVA contributes to cancer and wrinkles but not to burns. So now we’re asking sunscreens to help (protect us) from cancer and wrinkles too; we want that UVA added in,” Spencer said. ‘Water resistant’ not ‘waterproof’ Waterproof sunscreen may sound like a great option, but according to Spencer, “there’s no such thing as waterproof.” Sunscreen companies must now remove the word “waterproof” from their labels and replace it with the phrase “water resistant,” according to the new FDA guidelines. A “water resistant” sunscreen will be less likely to wash off in water, but doctors warn that it still needs to be reapplied. To make sure people remember to lotion up again after getting wet, the FDA now requires all sunscreens to state whether they are water resistant for “40 minutes” or “80 minutes.” “So that gives you an idea…how long you’re good for; that’s useful information,” Spencer said. And if you’ve had the same tube of sunscreen for the entire summer – you’re doing something wrong. “One tube should only last two weeks, and if you’re going to the beach, (it should last) for a week,” Dr. Hooman Khorosani, assistant professor of dermatology and chief of division of Mohs, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, who also treated Syglowski, told FoxNews.com. Don't forget to take note of the expiration date on your tube of SPF either. Expired sunscreen could be less effective.  “Most people throw these things in their beach bag and/or let them sit in direct sunlight for hours on end so you should live by the (expiration) date,” Ginsberg said.  SPF 30, not SPF 100 Resist the urge to reach for the highest SPF on the shelf.  It likely won’t offer any more protection, according to doctors. “An SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UBV rays - SPF 45 blocks 98 percent. Once you get to 98 percent, it’s getting a little silly. And SPF 100 is a little misleading,” Spencer said. “You can’t get more than 100 percent blocked.” Spencer said the FDA is considering prohibiting sunscreens labeled higher than SPF 50, but due to objections from sunscreen companies, the change is still being negotiated.   In the meantime, Spencer recommends looking for an SPF of at least 30 and reapplying sunscreen every few hours. Syglowski – who has now been melanoma-free for nearly two years – says she is much more vigilant about sunscreen application and schedules regular skin checks with Khorosani – something she encourages other women to do as well. As for Khorosani, he said one technique seems to be particularly effective at encouraging patients to be vigilant about sun protection. “I have a photo of a patient who sat by the window every day. The left side of her face, which was facing the window, was being hit by (wrinkle-causing) UVA rays, so it looks like she’s 50. The right side looks like she’s 35,” Khorosani said. “All I need to do is show that photo to the women who come in.”  source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/22/heading-to-beach-new-spf-regulations-issued-by-fda/