Dermatologists vs Pediatricians?

Posted July 24, 2019.

Now that summer's here you're probably looking forward to get outside and enjoy some sunshine and enjoy all the great summer activities we have around us and you know if you're like me it's great to be out in the warmth and doing all the fun activities that we have in our natural surroundings. However recently there's been some confusion when the American Academy of Dermatology came out to some statements about sunblock and sunscreen being unsafe due to some concerns about the chemicals in there and right now the FDA is currently investigating to see if these chemicals are still safe. On the other hand the pediatricians came out and advocated not using sunscreen as often as previously because they're worried about some of the chemicals soaking through our skin and soaking through children's skin that could get into the blood cause problems throughout the body. So which is right! you know there are good arguments on both sides you don't want to get skin cancer but at the same time you don't want to be putting things into your body that could be harmful. Well I think both groups are right and I'll explain more in a second but first of all I want to talk about what the Sun has to do with your lips. So in our office we do annual oral cancer screening on each of our patients and we look inside the mouth for common areas where cancers and abnormal things can develop in our mouths including the tongue and roof or mouth and underneath our tongue cheeks and even the throat and one area where people commonly have abnormal growths or even cancers can develop is on the lip and a min especially as shown in this picture of the lower lip and the reason is a lot of females will wear makeup or lip balm more often than men and so men who spend a lot of times outdoors whether it's fishing, hunting, running, cycling, time on the lake or the water. I personally like to get out and bike in the summer mountain bike and road bike and so you have to be careful that make sure you wear sunblock. So SPF 30 above is probably best for the lip especially the lower lip because that's the way the Sun angles down and hit our lower lip so SPF 30 is probably the best but a lot of the SPF 30 lip balms I've used seem very waxy and they don't feel quite as smooth on the lips so I typically use an SPF 15. It's a little softer and usually has a better scent to it but maybe you will need to reapply it every few hours you may not be able to go quite as long between applications. So to tie this all together the reason I think that both the dermatologists and the pediatricians are right is it's really just evaluating your situation and also how often you're applying the sunscreen. So a lot of Americans are low on vitamin D it's one of the common things you may be tested for when you have a physical or a blood test and natural sunlight is a great way to get vitamin D. So when you're out the Sun for you know anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes initially is best without sunblock so you can absorb the good parts of the Sun and get some vitamin D and then that's when you'd apply sunblock and as long as you're applying it you know just often enough following the directions on the bottle so that it's protecting you from the harmful UV rays and not over applying it. I think you'll be just fine and that'll keep your skin healthy and especially your lips during this time of year when it can be very hot and dry so I hope this tip helps for this week and I hope you have a wonderful summer and enjoy all the activities you love to do.

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