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Southlake Style

Common Sunscreen Mistakes Many People Make

Jun 16, 2015 09:34AM ● By Dia

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By Dr. Josh Prickett, Medical Director, North Tarrant E-Care Emergency Center

Even those of us who have the best intentions can unwittingly make potentially serious mistakes when it comes to the use of sunscreen. You not only need to apply it before going outside for extended periods of time, you also need to apply it the right way in order to avoid a nasty sunburn that may require immediate medical attention. Here are some of the ways people misuse sunscreen so you can avoid doing the same thing.

 Not Purchasing a New Bottle

Some people are still using the same bottle of sunscreen they’ve had on their shelf for the last three years. You really should pay attention to the expiration date, because the ingredients deteriorate as time goes on. As a result, the protection provided by expired sunscreen will not be as effective. Preservatives deteriorate as well, making it easier for germs to contaminate the bottle. Heat can also break down sunscreen; this could be a problem if you leave a bottle in your golf bag or beach bag, and you leave that bag in your car.

Relying on the SPF in Makeup

Far too many ladies believe that the sunscreen protection found in their makeup will provide sufficient protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. While it may sound like a good idea, reality is a different matter entirely. One of the main problems with this assumption is that the amount of makeup used by most women is simply not enough to provide protection. Makeup will also wear off during the day. But if you use moisturizer with built-in SPF protection and you re-apply regularly, then you should be okay

Not Using Enough

A little dab of sunscreen will not be enough to get the protection you need – especially if you’re planning to be on the golf course, by the pool or on the beach for several hours. You might not want to put a lot of goop all over your skin, but you need to apply enough to provide even coverage. If you have any doubts you haven’t put on the right amount, slap on some more. Most experts agree that there is no such thing as applying too much sunscreen.

Not Re-Applying After Being in the Water

Sunscreen will typically last a maximum of about two hours. Swimming and sweating can reduce that time even faster. So if you are planning to be outside for a long time, try to make it a point to re-apply sunscreen every hour. Also, no sunscreen is waterproof – in fact, the FDA no longer allows sunscreen manufacturers to use the word in their marketing.

If you would like to learn more from doctors near Southlake about the proper use of sunscreen, call E-Care Emergency Centers at 817-281-7277. If you ever need emergency or urgent care, use this convenient form to check in online.



Josh Prickett, MD, is currently medical director for North Tarrant location of E-Care Emergency Center in North Richland Hills. Dr. Prickett graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School and has been practicing emergency care in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Texas since 1989.  He has been married to his wife Carin for 30 years. They have a son Jonathan, a daughter Whitney, and a son-in-law John. Dr. Prickett and his family are active in their church and love being Southlake residents.