Despite the fact that skin cancer is among the most prevalent conditions in the U.S., many beachgoers seem to avoid sunscreen. Also, there is a common misconception that beach umbrellas can block the harmful UV rays.
The latest study has revealed that roughly 78 percent of those who use beach umbrellas end up with sunburns. On the other hand, just 25 percent of the beachgoers who use sunscreen suffer sunburns a day after sunbathing.
The researchers underline the fact that sunscreen provides better protection than umbrellas, but neither of the two methods is 100 percent effective. During the latest study, the scientists analyzed 81 participants who were asked to spend 3,5 hours in the mid-day sun.
The study was conducted in August 2014. Half of the participants used beach umbrellas, whereas the others applied SPF 100 sunscreen on their skin. Based on the study findings, 41 of the participants who used umbrellas had 142 sunburns the next day compared to just 17 sunburns in the sunscreen group.
According to Dr. Hao Ou-Yang, the lead author of the study and a research scientist at Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc, people must be aware of the risks of spending too much time in the sun.
It is worth mentioning that Johnson and Johnson is the parent company of Neutrogena. Dr. Ou-Yang adds that besides sunscreen, beachgoers should wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
In addition, they should seek shade and refrain themselves from going to the beach from eleven am to four pm when the sun is strongest. Dermatologist Jennifer Stein from the NYU Langone Medical Center says that using just one method is not enough to protect yourself from the sun.
The problem with the beach umbrellas is that although they provide protection from direct UV rays, they are ineffective against the scattered ones. Fortunately, SPF 30 sunscreen provides protection against 97 percent of the UV rays.
SPF 15 sunscreen provides 93 percent protection, whereas anything higher than SPF 30 provides just little additional protection. The dermatologists recommend beachgoers to apply sun lotion after every bath because no product is waterproof. There are three types of skin cancer, out of which melanoma is potentially deadly if not discovered in an early stage.