Common mistakes when choosing and applying sunscreen

Sunscreen / Matt Thielke (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- More people have fun in the sun as the weather heats up, but are you wearing enough sunscreen to get the protection you need?

Medical experts said there are a few commons things people do wrong when applying sunscreen that can lead to sunburns and even long-term health consequences.

A beautiful afternoon in Macon brought Krista Wieters and her kids to the park Thursday.

"We always use the baby sunscreen so it doesn't hurt their eyes," she said.

She said she doesn't leave the house without sun protection.

"A little bit of sun is good for them, and it's certainly good for them to be outside, but I don't want the kids to get burned," she said.

The warm weather also motivates Thad Chairmont to go fishing.

"I love the Ocmulgee, especially from growing up in Macon," he said.

He knows if you aren't careful, a day on the water can be disastrous for your skin's health.

"I hadn't always been a big user of sunscreen products, however I do use it now," he said. "You do want to watch the burns, things like that, when you feel it, it's time to get out."

But just putting on any old sunscreen isn't enough.

Danielle Rogers, a nurse practitioner with Coliseum Medical Centers says you need to be picky.

"You want to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that covers UVA and UVB exposure," she said.

Those types of sun rays can be the most damaging to your skin.

You also need to watch the SPF rating to maximize your protection.

"We really recommend at least 30 SPF because it has a 97 percent coverage," Rogers said.

But even if you choose the right sunscreen, you wont't the protection you paid for if you don't apply it correctly.

"Making sure you are applying enough sunscreen. So typically, for adults, that is per ounce of sunscreen and so this medicine cup is right at one oounce, and people have this in their home," Rogers said.

And don't stop with just one application before a day at the beach.

Rogers says you need to reapply every two hours to keep your skin healthy in the long-term.

"Skin cancer is definitely a preventable disease," she said.

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