Sunscreen (On the skin)

Introduction

May help protect your skin from sunburn, skin cancer, and other damage caused by the sun.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Esoterica Sunscreen, Esoterica Facial, Dermatone UVA/Uvb Sunblock, Dermatone Skin Protector, Sportz Bloc, Vanicream Lip Protectant, Sponix Sunscreen, Mederma, Solbar Shield Sunscreen, Vanicream SPF 60, Vanicream SPF 30, Vanicream Sunscreen, Solbar Zinc SPF38, A-Fil, Rosula CLK

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Talk with your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to a sunscreen. Even if you have had an allergic reaction to one sunscreen, you still may be able to use another sunscreen that contains different ingredients.

How to Use This Medicine

Cream, Lotion, Gel/Jelly, Stick, Liquid, Ointment

  • Most sunscreens are applied about 15 to 30 minutes before you go out into the sun. Sunscreens that contain PABA should be used about 1 to 2 hours before sun exposure. There are many different kinds of sunscreens, so instructions may change with each product. Always read and follow the instructions on the package label.
  • Use the sunscreen on your skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not use the spray on your face. A sunscreen stick or lip balm especially made for your face is easy to use.
  • Apply a thick layer of sunscreen to all skin areas exposed to the sun. Reapply the sunscreen about every 2 hours, or after swimming, towel drying, or heavy sweating.
  • If the sunscreen contains alcohol, you should not use it near a fire or if you are smoking.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the sunscreen at room temperature away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Talk with your doctor before using a sunscreen on the same skin areas you are treating with other skin medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • You should not use sunscreens on children younger than 6 months of age unless you have first talked with your child's doctor. Children younger than 6 months old may absorb sunscreen through their skin into their bodies. It is best to keep infants younger than 6 months old out of the sun. If this cannot be avoided, lightweight clothes and a hat may help protect an infant from the sun.
  • Sunscreens work by either absorbing or reflecting the sun's ultraviolet radiation (UVR). UVR causes skin cancer, sunburns, and premature aging of skin (wrinkles and dry, thinning skin). Clouds will filter some UVR, but not all. You will still need to use sunscreen even when it is cloudy.
  • UVR can reflect off of light surfaces such as sand and snow. Wear a sunscreen when are out in the snow to keep from getting a sunburn.
  • Sunscreens are rated by SPFs (sun protection factors). Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Children older than 6 months of age should wear a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when outdoors. If you need more protection or have fair skin, an SPF of 20 to 30 (or higher) can be used. You can also protect your skin by wearing a hat and lightweight clothes.
  • To prevent skin damage, avoid being in the sun between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM, when the sun's rays are strongest.
  • Sunscreens that contain PABA may permanently stain your clothing yellow.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Rash

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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