Sunscreen Tips for Seniors

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

April 7, 2016

Senior Care in Sewickley PA

Most seniors and their caregivers understand the importance of using sunscreen.  Sunscreen is a great defense against the harmful rays of the sun which can cause burns and even lead to skin Senior-Care-in-Sewickley-PAcancer, the most common form of cancer.  While most know that applying sunscreen is important, many people do not know how to apply it properly.  Many times the incorrect amount is used, it is not reapplied after swimming, and/or it is not used on cloudy days.  These mistakes can make sunscreen use less effective and lead to burns and skin damage caused by the sun.  Here are a few tips to help seniors and their caregivers use sunscreen properly and keep themselves well-protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
Use a Generous Amount
Using too much sunscreen can do no harm, but using too little can.  When applying, be sure to spread an even layer on exposed skin and massage it in.
Use Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
When your senior loved one will be spending time outdoors, especially during peak sun times (between 10am and 2pm), it is important that they apply sunscreen regardless of what the weather is like.  U.V. rays can penetrate clouds, so it is still possible to get a sunburn on cloudy days.
Apply and Reapply Properly
To make sunscreen most effective, be sure to apply it to the skin 30 minutes before sun exposure.  After that, remember to reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.  Not reapplying is a sunscreen mistake that many people tend to make, but it is one that can lead to painful burns and skin damage.
Be Mindful of the Expiration Date
Sunscreens do expire!  In fact, their active ingredients become less effective with time.  So, using a bottle of old sunscreen, no matter how well it is applied, can be ineffective.  Before using a bottle of sunscreen from a past season, check the expiration date to make sure that it is still up to date.
The Sunscreen in Makeup is Not Enough
Many foundations now include some SPF, but they are not a great substitute for regular sunscreen.  Most women do not use enough foundation to allow for the SPF to protect them properly, as it is just a very thin layer.  Also, makeup will wear off throughout the day and become less effective at protecting skin from the sun.  For this reason, it is necessary to apply sunscreen to the face even when wearing makeup with SPF.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Sewickley, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551