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Chiropractic Research Review

Get Serious with Your Patients about Sunscreens

Sunscreens are vital for avoiding skin damage from the sun and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Unfortunately, many people dont get the complete benefits of sunscreens because they misuse the products.

A survey of 235 women showed that over 50% were confused about the terms listed on sunscreen labels: SPF (sun protection factor); UVA (ultraviolet A); and UVB (ultraviolet B).

This study explains these terms, examines the risks of inappropriate sunscreen use, and provides suggestions for protecting people from the harmful rays of the sun. Included is a discussion of some of the realities of sunscreen use which are often misunderstood and/or ignored:

* Wearing sunscreen does not cause overheating during exercise.
* Sunscreen is still needed on cloudy or overcast days.
* High SPF values (greater than 15) offer significant protection.
* Sunscreens rarely cause allergic reactions.
* Clothing/hats are not nearly as protective as sunscreens.

Doctors of chiropractic should share what they know about sunsceen protection with their patients. Dispelling the myths about sunscreens and offering advice on how to correctly use sunscreen products may prevent thousands of cases of skin cancer each year!

Potera C. Help patients get serious about sunscreens. Physician and Sportsmedicine, May 1997;25(5), pp117-120.

Chiropractic Research Review

Dynamic Chiropractic
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