Ample sunscreen, shade, protective clothing key to avoiding sunburns

Sunscreen alone likely doesn’t provide enough protection for people with pale skin who are sensitive to the sun, according to a new study led by the National Cancer Institute.

Analyzing national survey data, the study found that sun-sensitive respondents who only used sunscreen had the highest rate of sunburn. The study also showed that seeking shade was the most common form of sun protection while wearing long sleeves was the least common.

“Clearly, we need to go back to square one to educate Americans about using enough sunscreen so all parts of the body exposed to the sun are covered and reapplied frequently enough,” said Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Alan Geller, senior lecturer in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, in a July 10, 2018 Reuters article.

Geller, who was not involved with the study, added, “It’s good to see that shading has become the main form of sun protection as it’s free, inexpensive and feels better than being outside in the broiling sun. We need to create more shade structures at schools and parks, where we can have more control over the physical environment than we would at places like beaches and lakes.”

Read the Reuters article: Sun-sensitive people need more than sunscreen to avoid sunburn