Top 5 Questions Asked About Sunscreen Protection

Dermatology and TanningSummer is here and it seems it’s going to be a hot one! With that being said, the question of how much sunscreen should I put on comes to mind. Therefore, we searched for the most common questions asked pertaining to the subject. Here are the top 5 questions people asked about sunscreen protection, answered by dermatologists.

Q. How much should I put on?

A. It takes a little over 1 ounce to cover the body. This is a little more than a shot glass worth. For the face and neck, squeeze about a dime of lotion in the palm of each hand, this should cover it.

Q. When should I use sunscreen?

A.  If you plan to spend a long time outdoors, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen on 20 – 30 minutes before going out. If you are only out for the purpose of tanning, the sun may cause you to sweat profusely, so a gel based sunscreen is recommended. If you go in the water, you should re-apply after toweling off and every couple of hours. This ensures optimal sun protection.

Q.  Do I have to cover my entire body?

A.  Yes. Most people typically miss the ears, tips of toes or the entire foot, near the armpit folds, and around the bathing suit lines. Like the rest of your body these areas get burned, causing skin damage, increasing your risk of skin cancer.

Q.  What do I do if I’m allergic to sunscreen?

A.  Usually, allergic reactions are due to fragrances or preservatives rather than the actual sunscreen. If your skin becomes red, itchy, or irritated, there is a good chance you are allergic to the product. To avoid this, test a small spot on your forearm for a few days before applying it to your entire body, as well as trying new sunscreen you have not used before. There are many varieties of sunscreen including gels, lotions, creams, powders, and sprays with a variety of ingredients. There is something out there for everyone, no matter how sensitive your skin is, to ensure your sun safety.

Q.  Do certain medications cause sun sensitivity?

A.  Yes. Be careful if you are on certain medications, like blood pressure meds or certain antibiotics. These can increase your sensitivity to the sun causing chances of early sunburn. Stay in the shade as much as possible and re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Always stay safe having fun in the sun and be sure to discuss any questions with your dermatology doctor. If we didn’t include your question or you would like to add to this post feel free to write it in our comment section below.

Further Reading

  • With only about a month of summer left, you may be considering going under the knife to maintain that bikini body or be in better shape for next season.  While demand for plastic surgery runs high during the winter months so that patients have time to heal before summer, there is still a significant demand for certain procedures over the warm weather months. According to the results of a recent report by, patients are still flocking to the plastic surgeon’s office to look “red-carpet ready” or undergo a mini-makeover.

  • Tom Cruise, now 50, has maintained most of his young, boyish looks from his Top Gun days and has some critics wondering if the star has gone under the knife. Cruise recently interviewed with Playboy and revealed that he has never gone under the knife – and probably never will.

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.