Health Tip: Sunscreen Guidelines - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Health Tip: Sunscreen Guidelines

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"Being in the sun makes you feel good. It kind of gets the endorphins going or something. It just always felt good."

AMY WALDROP LOVED TO BE TAN AS A TEENAGER... BETWEEN LAYING IN THE SUN AND USING TANNING BEDS, SHE SAYS SHE ALWAYS MAINTAINED A GLOW.

"I didn't think twice about it and I thought it can't be doing too much harm, but little did i know."

THAT'S BECAUSE YEARS LATER, SHE DEVELOPED MELANOMA ON HER BACK AND ARM. SHE UNDERWENT SURGERY TO REMOVE THE TUMORS, BUT IT LEFT HER WITH DEEP SCARS.

"There is no such thing as a safe tan."

DERMATOLOGIST DR. SURAJ VENNA SAYS THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER IS BY USING SUN SCREEN. YET, CURRENT PRODUCT LABELS CAN MAKE SAFE SUN PROTECTION CONFUSING.

"Right now, there's really just a plethora of terms that are used. It's really just large lexicon and there hasn't been any bonafide testing."

FOR EXAMPLE, MANY SUNSCREENS BOAST THAT THEY'RE WATER PROOF, WATER RESISTANT OR SWEAT PROOF. YET VENNA SAYS, THOSE TERMS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING BECAUSE MANUFACTURERS HAVEN'T DONE ANY TESTING TO DETERMINE HOW LONG A PRODUCT WILL LAST ON THE SKIN WHEN IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH WATER.

"The problem with water proof is that every time you go into the ocean, you're in and out, so it's just going to wipe off. So I think patients have a false sense of security."

UNDER THE FDA'S NEW GUIDELINES, SUNSCREENS WILL NOW BE LABELED EITHER WATER RESISTANT FOR 40 MINUTES OR 80 MINUTES ... AN INDICATOR OF WHEN PEOPLE SHOULD RE-APPLY.

VENNA SAYS ANOTHER ISSUE IS THAT THERE'S NO EVIDENCE THAT PRODUCTS WITH AN SPF OVER 50 ACTUALLY GIVE ANY ADDITIONAL PROTECTION.

SO TO COMPLY WITH THE NEW RULES, MANUFACTURERS WILL EVENTUALLY STOP MAKING THEM.

"They're going to want to use at least an SPF 30. Anything under that for daily use is ok, but if they're going to the beach, then at least SPF 30."

FOR AMY WALDROP, SHE SAYS SHE GETS REGULAR SKIN CHECK UPS FROM HER DOCTOR SO SHE CAN KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ANY MORE RECURRENCES.

SHE'S ALSO EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS IN THE SUN, USING LOTS OF SUNSCREEN, WIDE-BRIMMED HATS AND SUNGLASSES.

"People think that things will never happen to them. You have to really be vigilant and not assume."

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