Spring break is approaching and one dermatologist says don’t forget the sunscreen

BUDDY CHECK 2/07/2023
Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - It may not feel like it quite yet, but for some, planning for a spring break vacation has begun.

Before you hit the sand or catch some rays, don’t forget to toss sunscreen in your bag.

Marshfield Medical Clinic dermatologist Dr. Lawrence Scherrer says the higher the SPF, the better.

“By using something that’s higher, SPF, you’ve got more of that sun protective ingredient in those lotions. It’s going to be a little bit less susceptible to the overspreading that people commonly do and it will also last a little longer,” Scherrer said. “There was a study done looking at the rate of sunburns in spring breakers in Mexico comparing SPF 50 to SPF 100, 100 was still better than 50.”

To avoid getting a sunburn or potentially developing cancer later in life, Scherrer says reapplication is crucial.

“Even the highest SPF ones burn out over time, they’re absorbed,” Scherrer said. “They just go away and they don’t work as well. So ideally, every couple of hours you would reapply. Now, it’s hard to do if you’re covered with sand. How are you going to rub lotion on? Well, use a spray, you know, so there are a lot of alternatives.”

Scherrer says the key is finding a sunscreen that you’ll use.

“If I told you I want you to put on an SPF 100 sweatproof waterproof sunscreen every 2 hours, you’re not likely to do it because it’s just difficult and perhaps it’s a little bit too much or uncomfortable,” Scherrer said.

Depending on what kind of outdoor activities you might have planned, using other forms of skin protection might be the way to go.

“An easy way to get really good sun protection at a lower cost is to get the performance fabric clothing so that under armor type clothing is that that fabric is inherently sun protective,” Scherrer said.

Scherrer says even people who say they do not easily burn should still war sunscreen or wear protective clothing if they’re outside for a long period of time.