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HEALTH



Published: Fri, September 20, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



HEALTH

Protecting your skin

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following practices to minimize sun damage to your skin:

U Any day of the year, if you're going to be outside in the sun for 20 minutes or more, use sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, 80 percent of ultraviolet rays reach the Earth.

U Pick a sunscreen with a skin protection factor of at least 15. Better still is one that is water-resistant and contains a compound that protects against both ultraviolet A and B. These include oxybenzone, octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate, sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and avobenzone.

U Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply it every two hours and after swimming or sweating or vigorously toweling yourself dry.

U A teen or adult wearing a swimsuit should apply 1 ounce. Many people make the mistake of skimping on the dosage.

U Even better than using sunscreen is staying out of the sun during peak ultraviolet hours - about 10 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. - and wearing a hat and long sleeves and pants.




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