7 Critical Spots Dermatologists Wish You’d Remember to Apply Sunscreen
When summer hits and you're spending most of the day outside, it's easy to miss some key spots when applying the 'ole SPF. Dermatologists say to double check these trouble spots where your coverage may not be complete.
Of course you know it’s crucial to slather on the SPF. And weirdly, even though the head is a major focal point for the sun, we rarely think to protect our scalps. Which happens to be why after a day at the beach your scalp is likely to feel a little itchy or look a little red. Prevent sunburn on your scalp by applying a spray sunscreen every two or so hours. These are the places you’re ignoring when you check yourself for skin cancer.
“I tell my patients that if I could only ask them to cover two areas of their skin with sunscreen, I would ask them to make sure to cover their ears and lips,” says Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at South Shore Medical Center in Norwell, Massachusetts. “That’s because these are actually two very high-risk areas to have skin cancer.” Slather on the lotion, but use hats to your advantage, too. “Baseball caps are not enough to protect your ears,” she says. “I recommend that patients use wide-brimmed hats.”
You might know how to manage dry lips, but are you always careful to protect them from the sun? Your luscious lips are second on Dr. Ip’s most crucial sunscreen spot for because they’re catching the sun’s full rays, 24/7, 365 days a year. “I recommend that patients use lip balms with SPF 30 or above on the lips and that sunscreen be reapplied every two hours during consistent sun exposure,” she says. Make sure you know these skin cancer symptoms you should check for right now.
Sure, you know how to apply lotion to your face—the nose, the cheeks, and the forehead. When was the last time you covered your eyelids with SPF? Even if you’re planning on wearing sunglasses all day, the skin on the eyes is some of the thinnest and most delicate on the entire body, offering the sun’s rays an easy way in. Thus, it’s crucial to apply sunscreen here just as you would on the rest of the face. Don’t forget to check out more information about the crucial spot you may be skipping when you apply sunscreen.
Not only do people overlook their neck when doing their anti-aging routine, they forget to SPF it, too. “For adequate coverage, you should use one ounce of sunscreen to cover your entire body,” Dr. Ip notes, comparing this amount to that of a shot glass. When you’re wondering what to do with the last bit, go for your neck. It’s an often overlooked spot for sunscreen appliers, but your neck is always exposed to the sun if one have short hair or tend to put it up. “Apply 15 minutes before exposure and reapply every two hours (more frequently if swimming or sweating),” says Dr. Ip. “Always wait 15 minutes before re-entering water after reapplying.” And don’t ignore these surprising risk factors for developing skin cancer.
Think your feet and toes are safe from the sun because they’re in the water or buried beneath the sand? Hardly. They’re just as prone to burns as the rest of the body—and those flip-flops aren’t offering much protection. Apply a hefty dose to the tops of feet, and even in between the toes. These are the facts about skin cancer you need to know.
They say the skin on your hands is the one of the most revealing signs of aging, so give them a little extra TLC when it comes to sun care. Considering they’re always on display, it’s worth spending extra to protect them. “What I like about HydroPeptide’s new Solar Defense Non-Tinted and Solar Defense Body is that they contain antioxidants such as green tea and resveratrol, which are potent antioxidants that help prevent skin aging and protect against skin cancer,” Dr. Ip says. “Furthermore, these antioxidants also help fight the effects of pollution and are heavy hitters at addressing multiple anti-aging and cancer concerns.” Make sure you know these sunscreen do’s and don’ts before you head out into the sun.