Understanding Sun Protection Products and Protecting Yourself from Arizona Skin Cancer

using sunscreen_skin cancer_Phoenix, Arizona

Buying sunscreen to fend off Arizona Skin Cancer can be a very confusing ordeal, especially once you discover that it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ purchase. Discover the important information you need to know about purchasing and using sunscreen in Phoenix.


Understanding the Label

If you want to buy the right kind of sun protection to protect yourself from Arizona Skin Cancer, you’ll need to understand the labels first.


Here’s what you can expect when shopping for products to prevent Arizona Skin Cancer:



Ultraviolent A are long rays while Ultraviolent B are short rays. UVB is the main culprit in sun related Arizona Skin Cancer, but more and more is being found out about the damaging effects of UVA rays as well. Most sun protection products only protect against UVB rays unless otherwise noted.



SPF is the acronym for Sun Protection Factor – this is the degree of protection the product offers from UVB rays which are known to cause Arizona Skin Cancer.

SPF15 allows only 1/15 of the sun rays to get through

SPF30 allows 1/30 of the UVB sun rays to get through

SPF50 allows 1/50 of the UVB sun rays to get through

…and so on…


Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

This may be the most confusing labeling when it comes to buying products to prevent Arizona Skin Cancer. Sunscreen acts by absorbing UV radiation with chemicals and decreases the amount of sun rays that get to the epidermis. Sunblock physically prevents radiation from reaching the skin at all. Products called sunblock are often just sunscreen.


Broad Spectrum

Sunscreens which advertise as being broad spectrum are those which protect against UVB and UVA rays (remember most sunscreens only shield UVB rays!). UVA rays are not as directly linked to Arizona Skin Cancer but are at very least known to penetrate the deeper layers of skin and cause premature aging.


Water Resistance

Sunscreen adverting as being water resistant lasts 40 minutes on average in the water. Products advertised as being very water resistant will last up to 80 minutes in the water.


How to Properly Apply Sunscreen

Using sunscreen can be pointless if not applied properly. The first step to preventing Arizona Skin Cancer with sunscreen is putting wearing it right. Sunscreen should be worn without regard to the time of year or time of day. Just because it’s not hot outside, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t putting out radiation. Even in the early morning or on cloudy days, you should wear sunscreen.


Normal Use

First things first, you should always wear sunscreen, even if you are doing nothing more than sitting in front of a window without a shade on it; even the smallest amount of exposure can lead to Arizona Skin Cancer over time .The easiest way to get protection from Arizona Skin Cancer during the normal course of your day is by choosing a daily moisturizer with sunscreen already in it.


Outdoor Use

This is one of the most dangerous times for sun exposure which could lead to Arizona Skin Cancer. SPF30 and up is recommended when outdoors and should be reapplied often, especially if you are hot and perspiring.


How often sunscreen should be reapplied varies greatly from person to person. People who burn easily need to apply more often than those with darker skin pigmentation. Re-applying every hour, if possible, is a good rule of thumb if you are in direct sunlight – otherwise, every few hours should be sufficient. If you are in the water, re-apply according to the water resistance of the product you’re using.


No sunscreen can completely protect you from sun related Arizona Skin Cancer. Physical shields are far more effective than lotions for protection from the sun.


Family Practice Specialists

Have more questions on sunscreen, skin care, or skin cancer? Or two dermatologists are always on staff, ready and able to take on any inquiry or concern. Call today! 602.955.8700

Posted by Phoenix Doctor in Dermatology in Phoenix, Family Physician | Permalink |