Dr. Schultz is a dermatologist who won't tell you to stay out of the sun. He'll just tell you to make sure you're protected while in the sun. And your top line of defense against the damage from the sun is...sunscreen! But surprisingly the majority of sunscreen users are using it all wrong. Dr. Schultz will share with you the proper way to use sunscreen.
Dr. Neal Schultz: Hello I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. In this episode, I'm going to tell you how to use your sunscreen, so it'll really work. Summer, Monday morning office visits usually include at least one frustrated, sunburn victim who complains, my sunscreen didn't work. I used a 15 all over my body I used a 30 all over my body, and look what happened? I respond to that, how often did you re-apply your sunscreen? And to that, I usually inbreeded with a blank, gaze look, and then finally the question was what do you mean, re-apply? In addition, to re-applying your sunscreen, if you want it to work and if you want to get the full protection from it, you also have to make sure that you use enough. Think of how much you used on your entire body the last time you went to the beach? I'm going to show you in my hand how much you need for your face and how much you need to use for your whole body assuming that you are wearing a bathing suit. First, let's take a look at your face. This is the amount that you need to apply to your entire face, in order to get full protection. For your body, you need this amount. This is about an ounce to an ounce, two ounce-and-a-half. This is a six ounce bottle of sunscreen that means, under the best circumstances, you're going to get four, maybe six applications of sunscreen out of one bottle. That means, on a nice summer weekend, at best you are going to get two days from one bottle of sunscreen. When is the last time you used up a whole bottle of sunscreen in just one weekend? Getting back to my poor sunburned Monday morning patient, no matter what a sunscreen says on the bottle you need to re-apply it. If it says its waterproof, it's not you need to re-apply. If it says it's water-proof, it's not you need to reapply because it says it's relatively water resistant, you still need to reapply it because there is no sunscreen that is going to stay on your skin and not get washed off by your repeated motion in the water. The take-away here is re-apply, re-apply every time you come out of the water. If you're a tennis player, if you're a runner, you're perspiring and perspiration does a wonderful job at washing off sunscreen. Re-apply your sunscreen between sets, re-apply your sunscreen after each activity that you're doing outdoors that's causing perspiration, and you probably don't know this, but even if you're not doing any activities, you're just sitting under an umbrella at the pool, or at the beach and you're reading, you need to re-apply every three to four hours because you're always perspiring even though you can't feel it. And so, the sunscreen is always being washed off your skin, so very three to four hours, re-apply. And lastly, don't pull an ostrich at the beach just because you can't see a part of your skin, it doesn't mean that sun can't. The areas that most frequently get sunburned because we just don't put sunscreen there are on tops of our ears, the back of our neck, the back of your upper thighs and even the tops of your feet because you put your sunscreen on before you took your shoes off. So remember, most sunscreens need to be in contact with the skin for about a half-an-hour for them to work, so apply them accordingly. Re-apply your sunscreen and use enough and that way you won't become a Monday morning sunburn victim. Please join me again at dermtv.com. If you have a question please send me by visiting dermtv.com/question. I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and thank you for watching today.