Sunscreen

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talkhealth
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by talkhealth on Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:30 pm

Sunscreen

What factor sunscreen would you recommend wearing on a daily basis in the UK? Is SPF in moisturiser or makeup enough?
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by talkhealth on Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:31 pm

Re: Sunscreen

I struggle to get my child to wear sunscreen in the summer, do you have any tips for persuading him to wear it?
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Dr Sivanie Sewell
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by Dr Sivanie Sewell on Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:06 pm

Re: Sunscreen

Hi,

Thanks for your questions.

I recommend wearing a sunscreen with spf 30 or 50 (50 particularly if the UV index is high) with UVA protection on a daily basis in the UK. Studies have shown that consistently people typically apply only a quarter to a third of sunscreen which is needed to obtain the level of protection advertised on their sunscreen bottle so it is equally important to apply an adequate amount of sunscreen and to top up the sunscreen frequently.

UVA can penetrate cloud and glass and hence it is important to use sunscreen all year round even in winter if you spend a lot of time outdoors or even indoors if you are by a window for most of the day. If you have additional concerns such as pigmentary changes then you should choose a sunscreen with HEVL (high energy visible light) protection too.

SPF in makeup and moisturisers are not adequate as there is no quantitative measure of how much UVA protection the product provides (SPF only refers to UVB protection).

Children and sunscreen- lots of parents struggle with this! Top tips- 1. Get your child involved in the application of the sunscreen (roll on sunscreens are great for this) so he feels part of the process. 2. Tell him about the importance of using it from a young age so he understands the reason behind sunscreen use- children are more likely to cooperate if they know why they need to do something (or at least that's my experience). 3. If it's the texture he doesn't like, try different ones and different formulations e.g. roll on/ cream/lotion/spray to find one which he finds acceptable. 4. If he is a toddler or simply a child who doesn't sit still :) , use a sunscreen spray (but do apply an adequate amount as it's easy not to with the sprays).

Hope this helps.

Dr Sivanie Sewell
Consultant Dermatologist Surrey and London
BMedSci, BMBS, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology), FRCP
www.drsivaniesewell.co.uk
Instagram: drsivaniesewell
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