Sunburn Protection

By: Venton Blandin
By: Venton Blandin

June 16, 2006

Summer is upon us and that means it is time to break out the sunscreen, but your sun block might not be protecting you as well as it should.

The hot sun--there's almost no escaping it. Vacationer Tracey Stalnecker learned that the hard way.

"I'm very painful sunburn all over my body right now," said Tracey Stalnecker who is sun burnt.

That's why she found an umbrella.

Jamie Flynn protects herself the way most of us do.

"I usually use sunscreen on a regular basis," said Jamie Flynn also a vacationer.

For years--experts recommended using sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, but there may be a serious wrinkle in that science.

Dermatologists say most current sun blocks only stop UVB rays not UVA rays.

"We know now clearly that it's the UVA rays that are actually the most dangerous," said Dr. Mark Nestor, a dermatologist.

Ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone can protect against UVA rays, but only for an hour or so. Surprisingly, sunlight breaks the chemicals down, but helioplex stops that from happening.

"It allows this UVA agent to be much more stable and act much longer--up to five hours," added Dr. Nestor.

Sunscreens with helioplex are showing up on store shelves across the country, but remember there's no perfect sunblock.

Experts still say the best protection against melanoma is to limit your fun in the sun.

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