When it comes to sunscreen, we have to remember that infant skin is different than adult skin. Infant skin is much thinner – it protects the body less effectively against outside agents, including chemicals in sunscreen. This is why we see these reports of severe, blistering burns or rashes in very young children when parents use the same sunscreen product on their older children and themselves without issue.

If you have a child under 6 months old, the US Food and Drug Administration and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend keeping your child in the shade rather than using sunscreen, even physical blockers like zinc oxide. For children over 6 months, I recommend a patch test to make sure that your child is not particularly sensitive, or even allergic, to the ingredients in a particular sunscreen product. This could mean the difference between a sun safe child and a trip to the hospital with blistering, swollen skin.

New York dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe believes not all sunscreens are made equal. She shares her favorite sunscreens for adults and children and reveals why you can’t rely on last year’s lotions.

In this video, I focus on an ingredient called oxybenzone. Look for it in your sunscreen — I bet it’s there. You might also see it listed as an ingredient in some of your hair sprays, nail polish, fragrances, and makeup foundations with SPF. There’s been a lot of discussion and concern over whether oxybenzone is safe – not just for us, but also for our environment. The research in this field is truly fascinating and very important – so check it out!

A few months ago, I posted about this innovative new technology which was on the horizon and now, it’s here!!

As I discussed on Good Morning America today, sunscreen brand La Roche-Posay has developed the “MY UV Patch” which you wear on your skin. The patch is like a little sticker and it’s about ½ the thickness of a human hair, but it’s a very smart sticker!  The sticker and its accompanying App monitor the amount of UV exposure you’re getting in real time.

In my practice, I see so many patients who have a tan or sun spots and swear “but I’m NEVER in the sun!” I think this patch will help educate people on how easy it is to accumulate UV exposure even on shady days. It will help you learn when you’re getting the most rays– on your way to work?  During your lunch break?  Sitting next to the office window at your desk?  I think you’ll be surprised!

It will also help you determine WHERE you are getting those rays. People wear products with sunscreen plus makeup on their faces, but often neglect their chests and the tops of their hands, which speeds up aging on those skin surfaces.

As I discussed on air, the patch is water resistant so you can shower and swim with it, exercise with it, and even apply sunscreen directly on it. One really cool aspect of the patch is that you can see how well your sunscreen or SPF makeup is performing at screening out UV rays by monitoring your patch. Burning through your sunscreen?  Test your sunscreen on top of the patch and see if it truly delivers. Your makeup says it has SPF 30 in it?  Apply it to your patch and see if your patch agrees! So, it will help you figure out which products actually live up to their claims.

Knowledge is power, and this is one more very innovative tool to raise awareness when it comes to sun exposure!

@DrWhitneyBowe

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