According to the American study, people with pale skin, sensitive to the sun, should not be limited to just one cream when protected from the sun, they should take several preventive measures.
The results of the study say that those who used only sunscreen had a high probability of sunburn in comparison with those who at the same time wore a hat, protective clothing and kept in the shade.
“Most cases of skin cancer are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and this can be avoided with a number of adequate sun protection measures,” says study leader Kasey Morris of the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.
Morris and her colleague Frank Perna analyzed data from more than 28,000 responses to a survey of the US health service in 2015. Survey participants were asked what happens to their skin if they stay in the sun for an hour after several months were not exposed to direct sunlight. Those who answered that they would “get a severe burn with blisters” and “a moderate sunburn after which the skin will come off” or “a light burn with or without redness” were considered sensitive to the sun. Those who answered that they “just sunbathe and will not get any burns” or “nothing will happen” were considered insensitive to the sun.
Respondents also indicated how many times they received a sunburn last year, and how often they used measures to protect themselves from the sun on a warm, sunny day. As protection measures, they were asked to choose: sunscreen, stay in the shade, cap or visor, wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved clothes and long pants.
The majority of respondents – 77% – used at least one option of protection from the sun. The search for a shadow was the most common answer (40% of respondents). Clothing with long sleeves – the least common option (16%).
Among the almost 16,000 sun-sensitive respondents, those who used only sunscreen had the highest frequency of sunburn – 62%.
The lowest probability of sunburn in sun-sensitive people was observed when they preferred to stay in the shade, wore a hat and protective clothing.
Among the 12,000 sun-insensitive respondents, those who used all four options for sun protection had the lowest frequency of sunburn (7%).
“The most surprising and paradoxical fact is that the regular use of sunscreen without using other sun protection measures was associated with the greatest likelihood of getting sunburn,” says Morris.
With proper use, the sunscreen blocks ultraviolet rays. Nevertheless, in real conditions, people can not use enough sunscreen or do it as often as necessary to prevent sunburn. They can also misjudge how long they can safely stay in the sun.
According to Morris, their study emphasizes that you can not rely solely on sunscreen.
American doctors recommend that, in order to prevent skin cancer, limit the time spent in the sun, especially between 10 o’clock and 14 o’clock in the afternoon, using a wide-spectrum sunscreen (SPF above 50), reapply sunscreen every two hours and wear clothing that covers the skin.
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