What SPF and Ingredients to Use?

Last Modified: May 27, 2011

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

What is the recommended SPF in sunscreens by dermatologists to avoid melanoma? Do you recommend certain brands?

Answer

Rachel Woods, BSN, RN, Nurse in Moh’s micrographic surgery at Penn Medicine, responds:

The American Academy of Dermatologists recommend no less than SPF 30. Make sure it is broad spectrum (covers UVA and UVB) and reapply often.

Carolyn Vachani, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink Nurse Educator adds:

It isn’t so much about the brand, it is the ingredients, the sun protection factor and whether or not it protects against UVA and UVB. These previous answers about Sunscreen Ingredients and what SPF values really mean will also help in your search for the right sunscreen. I asked our expert, Dr. Miller, what he uses on his kids and he said he primarily uses SPF clothing for them- long sleeve surfer SPF shirts!

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript on Sun Safety.