Consumer Watch: You're probably using sunscreen wrong
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
There is a chance you are not using enough sunscreen. Doctors say that the average person should be going through an eight-ounce bottle if they are spending the day outside. That's a bottle per person, and not to be shared with a group.
Summer means fun in the sun, and even if you are using some sun protection, burns can happen.
Doctor Susannah Collier is a skin cancer surgery specialist. She says people commonly get first degree and second degree burns, and that could come with some blistering. Third degree burns are rarer but possible.
“They go through the entire skin including the nerve, so that doesn't hurt anymore. It actually becomes painless,” says Collier.
If you have a sun burn, it's important to drink a lot of water. Some Aloe Vera can have a cooling feeling on the skin. If you are not feeling better in 24-hours, you can go to your doctor. The scarier dangers of burns and tanning come later.
“The lasting effects of sun burn and sun tans are wrinkling and skin cancer. Those are the two biggest things,” says Collier.
Collier says sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going out, and then reapplied every hour you are outside. Even with sunscreen you may have some skin damage, so the safest bet is to avoid being outside from 10am to 4pm if you can help it, and to wear wide-brimmed hats and long loose fitting clothing to better protect your skin.
“When people hit 45 or 50, they come to me and say, ‘How can I get rid of all these brown spots and wrinkles? I don't want to look like this,’ and I say you need to go back to when you were younger and have used sun protection your whole life” says Collier.
Many health experts say it's people who don't commonly get sun burns, but tan regularly who see the most problems as they age.
If you are budgeting for your next outing, remember that the recommendation is one bottle per person per day.