Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What to Know About Sunscreen & Bug Repellent

With cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus showing up rapidly in South Florida, travelers embarking on cruise ships in Miami and Fort Lauderdale should take heed—you'll need more than just sun screen when outdoors. There are numerous products that combine sunscreen and bug repellent and I've used some in the past, but new information is now available about the products that contain DEET. Interestingly, Web MD advises to avoid products that contain sunscreen and DEET because the DEET is absorbed too quickly in the skin when combined with sunscreens.

The product illustrated here is DEET-free, but only SPF-30. For me, that's not enough protection from the sun. What to do? I intend to go back to applying sunscreen with SPF-100 and a separate bug repellent that contains DEET, which is a proven mosquito repellent. But, how should they be applied and which product goes on first?

CNN Health answers that question:
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you apply sunscreen first before applying insect repellent. This is true for both lotions and spray products. Rub on each product according to the label instructions. When applying to the face, put a small amount of lotion or spray in your hands before spreading and avoid getting the product into the eyes, nose or mouth. Try to keep these products out of open wounds such as cuts and scratches."
Good advice and I intend to follow it!

Additionally, when shopping for sunscreen and bug repellent products, read the labels carefully. Be especially cautious when purchasing products for children. If you have any questions, your best friend is a dermatologist. Mine recommends Neutrogena SPF-100+ sunscreen. If you don't need maximum sun protection as I do, Neutrogena offers sunscreens from SPF-45 and up. In addition to being recommended by my dermatologist for effectiveness, I like Neutrogena sunscreen products because they aren't sticky or stinky.

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