You know about melanoma.You bought an SPF 30 sunscreen, and you have read at least one of our skin care blogs. You really do not think you need to read another blog about using sunscreen. Please, the doctors and staff of Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, ask you to read once more about your sunscreen usage. You see, we have recently discovered many people misusing their sunscreen, and the only cure is education.

A “quick start” guide is one that lists instructions basically so that you can use a new product with a minimum of study. That is why we have named this blog  a “quick start” guide. We won’t include extra reference material or medical jargon. We will  just give you  some key tips people are missing concerning sunscreen usage.

Some of these tips are not included in the tiny writing on the sunscreen label, and some of them are not clearly stated. So, Orlando Cosmetic Surgery now offers you a few brief guidelines, based on the misuse of sunscreen, as we have seen it on our Florida beaches and by our beautiful Orlando Pools.

1. Avoid the, “too late” syndrome! Did you know that sunscreen requires thirty minutes to become really active on your skin? For real protection, sunscreen must be applied while you are in your bedroom or wherever you are getting prepared for your outdoor activity. Apply your sunscreen before you go out-of-doors, not after your arrival at the beach or pool. Give it time to generate a shield of protection for your skin. According to Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, “You actually want to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure.”

2. Did you know you should put on your sunscreen when you are in Lady Godiva’s condition? In other words, put sunscreen onto your skin, while you are nude, before you dress. Do not just put it up to the edges of your clothes after you have already dressed.

3. Do you let your mind wander while you are applying your sunscreen? Melanoma can show up at some strange places on the skin. Likewise, harmful sun rays have a knack for penetrating the small spaces you leave unprotected.

So, Orlando Cosmetic Surgery wants you to concentrate on your application process, and be sure you have applied sunscreen to these often neglected areas: your toes, feet, underarm areas, inside your upper arms, and the back of your neck.

Be sure you use facial sunscreen for your hairline, your ears, and your eyelids. Never use sunscreen made for the body on your face. The skin of the face is more sensitive than the body, and there really is a difference between the formulations. Likewise, your lips need appropriate protection, and we recommend a high SPF lip balm.

4. Set your watch. Some sunscreen admits its only good for a half an hour; others say they are active for an hour.  Still others say they can not work in moisture.  We caution you that if you sweat or get into water, chances are you need to reapply. So do not take a sweaty  two-hour nap in the sun; set your phone alarm, or have a friend awaken you for reapplication of the sunscreen at least every 45 minutes or hour.

It is also helpful to buy a sunscreen that is water-resistant, which will help with the problem, but remember, you should still re-apply it when you get out of the water or wipe down your sweat.

5. Forget that weather report! Just because the sky is overcast does not mean you do not require your sunscreen. Trust us when we tell you that wicked sun rays can penetrate the clouds and your skin. You might have also figured out that you are not really safe from the sun when you are in a car. The window tint gives you some protection, but the type of sun rays that cause premature aging can still damage your skin, right through the tinted glass. The answer is to wear your sunscreen in the car.

6. Don’t catch the “too little” syndrome! Spray products are becoming much more popular, but we are noticing that people are not using enough of this type of sunscreen product. Spray should be held about six inches away from the skin, and you should spray until you can actually see it on your skin. We also suggest a second coat if you are using spray instead of lotion. By the way, if you are using a lotion or cream, slather it on; do not just dab in on your skin. You should also be aware that the active chemicals in your sunscreen lotion, spray or cream,  dissipate over time, so last year’s bottle or tube is no longer good protection.

According to the American Cancer Society, “about 9,710 people will die of melanoma about 6,470 men and 3,240 women,” and that statement is only for the year 2014. Using sunscreen safely is one way you can lower your risk of  becoming a statistic.

By the way, you can get the whole story behind the harmful rays of the sun at this reliable online resource.

Thank you once again, for reading the Orlando Cosmetic Surgery Blog, and we hope you keep returning for more news and information from the world of cosmetic surgery.