New info sheds light on sunscreen misconceptions - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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New info sheds light on sunscreen misconceptions

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
(WFSB) -

There are a lot of misconceptions about sunscreen, according to doctors.

There is some new information, however, that could ensure even more protection the next time people are out in the sun.

"Sunblock is not really a sun 'block,'" said Dr. Christopher Norwood, dermatologist, Starling Physicians. "It's a sun screen. It slows the sun down. It doesn't make it go away."

Doctors said there's no escaping how damaging the sun can be to skin.

They said skin cancer is more common than ever before.

"If you look at the statistics, melanoma was about 1 in 250 people back in the 1960s," Norwood explained. "And now it's 1 in 50 Caucasian women."

One of the most common mistakes people make, according to Norwood, is not putting enough sunscreen on their bodies.

"You need to put on either an amount the size of a golf ball or shot glass, every time you apply to your exposed skin," he said.

It should be applied 10 minutes before heading outside, then reapplied every two hours.

With so many products on the market, knowing which one is right can be confusing.

"The most effective sunscreen ingredients that we like are things that contain titanium or zinc," Norwood said. "The heavy metals provide nice broad spectrum block [and] they tend to be a little more inert."

Norwood advises consumers to not only scan a product for UVA and UVB, but be on the lookout for the Skin Cancer Foundation's seal of approval.

"Thirty-plus is what we recommend mostly," he said. "You're blocking 97 percent of the ultraviolet light, so every little gradient beyond that, you're just getting a little more."

There's another product that works even better than sunscreen, according to Norwood. It's sunblock clothing, which is available between SPF 30 and SPF 50.

"No matter what you do, it's on and it works," he said.

For a list of sunscreens and other products recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, head to its website here.

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