• Apply liberally. A six-ounce bottle should only last six to eight full-body applications.
• Don’t forget your scalp, the tops of your feet, your ears, etc.
• Apply before you leave the house while you are still dry.
• Reapply every time you leave the water or have been sweating.
• Use more sunscreen and more often if you have fair skin.
• Reapply every two hours you are in the sun.
You know that using sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer, but using it correctly is just as important as using it at all.
“It should be put on before you go out in the sun while you’re still cool so that you’re not sweating while you put it on. It should be applied liberally,” explained Lawrence dermatologist Dr. Matthew Buxton.
He also says that if a bottle lasts you more than a year, you may not be using enough.
“It’s not uncommon for people to have a bottle of sunscreen they’ve used for the last three years when, in fact, a single bottle probably wouldn’t last for a whole summer if you used it correctly,” said Buxton, of Free State Dermatology.
But not everyone believes the sun’s rays can be harmful.
Lawrence Outdoor Aquatic Center patron Matthew Wilson says he would rather take his chances on sun damage than sunscreen chemicals.
“I think the chemicals that are in them are more likely to cause a problem with my physiology over the duration of my life than skin cancer,” Wilson said.
Buxton does not think skipping out on the chemicals is worth the risk.
“Sunscreens have been around for a long time, and, in general, have been very safe,” he said. ‘‘… So it’s definitely better to use a sunscreen than to take the risk with the sun.”
Blake Burgess has a grandfather with skin cancer, so the blond-haired, fair-skinned 10-year-old said he knows why using sunscreen is important. He was sure to apply sunscreen for his trip to the city pool.
He said, “I’ve seen the effects of skin cancer, and I really don’t want my skin to be taken out.”