Sunscreens are used to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They help to prevent sunburn and premature aging (such as wrinkles, leathery skin). Sunscreens also help to decrease the risk of skin cancer and also of sunburn-like skin reactions (sun sensitivity) caused by some medications (including tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine).The active ingredients in sunscreens work either by absorbing the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, preventing it from reaching the deeper layers of the skin, or by reflecting the radiation.Wearing sunscreen does not mean that you can stay out longer in the sun. Sunscreens cannot protect against all of the sun's radiation.There are various types of sunscreens available in many forms (e.g., cream, lotion, gel, stick, spray, lip balm). See the Notes section for information about selecting a sunscreen.
How to use Sunscreen Gel
Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure. As a general guide, use 1 ounce (30 grams) to cover your entire body. Reapply the sunscreen after swimming or sweating or drying off with a towel or if it has rubbed off. If you are outside for long periods, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you are using the lip balm form, apply to the lip area only.
Use cautiously or avoid use on irritated skin.
Do not use sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months unless the doctor directs you to do so. It is best for infants to stay out of the sun and wear protective clothing (e.g., hats, long sleeves/pants) when outdoors.
If you develop a serious sunburn, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.