HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The temperatures are warming up and a lot of us will be spending time outside in the sun.
When you spend time in the sun, you are receiving two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB. Both types can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB rays. When you walk through the sunscreen aisle, you’ll see bottles labeled SPF 15, 30, 45, 50, even 100.
SPF, or skin protection factor, is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging your skin.
“So that is the grade of protection against the sunlight so anything above 50 doesn’t add much so if you use something up to 50 that will protect up to about 98 percent protection against the sunlight,” said Dr. Zubeena Mateen of Holyoke Medical Center.
“I usually go with at least a 45 because anything less than that doesn’t really help me at all and I re apply freqently because as soon as I don’t feel it I know that it’s probably not protecting me anymore,” said Amy Butler of Chicopee.
Doctors recommend using sunscreen even on cloudy days since the clouds don’t block UV rays from damaging your skin.
On June 26th a Skin Cancer Lecture will be held at Holyoke Medical Center at 4:30 p.m.