GENERIC NAME: SUNSCREENS - TOPICAL
USES: Sunscreens are used to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They help to prevent sunburn and premature aging (e.g., wrinkles, leathery skin). Sunscreens also help to decrease the risk of skin cancer and also of sunburn-like skin reactions (sun sensitivity) caused by some medications (e.g., tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine).The active ingredients in sunscreens work either by absorbing the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, preventing it from reaching the deeper layers of the skin, or by reflecting the radiation.Wearing sunscreen does not mean that you can stay out longer in the sun. Sunscreens cannot protect against all of the sun's radiation.There are various types of sunscreens available in many forms (e.g., cream, lotion, gel, stick, spray, lip balm). See the Notes section for information about selecting a sunscreen.
HOW TO USE: Sunscreens are for use on the skin only. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure. As a general guide, use 1 ounce (30 grams) to cover your entire body. Reapply the sunscreen after swimming or sweating or drying off with a towel or if it has rubbed off. If you are outside for long periods, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you are using the lip balm form, apply to the lip area only.The spray form is flammable. If using the spray, avoid smoking when applying this medication and do not use or store it near heat or open flame.When applying sunscreen to the face, be careful to avoid contact with the eyes. If the sunscreen gets in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.Use cautiously or avoid use on irritated skin.Do not use sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months unless the doctor directs you to do so. It is best for infants to stay out of the sun and wear protective clothing (e.g., hats, long sleeves/pants) when outdoors.If you develop a serious sunburn, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
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