SPF important part of summer skin care

By Mollie Bretland

For Miami Valley Today

TROY — Ohio has met with its fair share of warm, sunny days this summer.

One thing people need to remember is to take care of their skin when they are spending time outside in the sun.

Sarah Jones, an oncology clinical nurse specialist at Upper Valley Medical Center offers some expert advice in regards to skin care.

Her first piece of advice — skin protection is not only necessary during summer, but year round.

SPF is an abbreviation for “sun protection factor,” and is figured by comparing “how long it takes sunscreen-protected skin to burn to the length of time it takes unprotected skin to burn,” according to Jones.

She shared that the Center for Disease Control recommends a minimum of SPF 15, but most dermatologists would suggest up to 30 or 50. Jones added that sunscreen should be “water-resistant and broad-spectrum, meaning it deflects both UVA and UVB rays.

“While some sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays, the SPF number only rates its ability to deflect UVB,” she said.

However, sunscreen is only part of the equation, Jones said, as wearing protective clothing and seeking shade are also critical components. Ultimately, Jones maintains that everyone should limit sun exposure, but especially those under 6 months of age and those with light skin.