Skin, Sun, and Sunscreen









Tracy Lucas, FNP,  Chief of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Cornerstone Family Healthcare

As the weather becomes warmer and the sun gets a little bit stronger it is important to remember sunscreen. In observance of Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Awareness Month, we recognize how sunburn effects an abundance of people; some worse than others. Cornerstone Family Healthcare’s Chief of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Tracy Lucas, FNP helped us to understand the best way to protect your children and yourself from sunburn this summer by answering some frequently asked questions.

Who needs sunscreen?

Everyone needs sunscreen, including those with darkly pigmented skin. Even though skin may be darker, it does not preclude the risk of skin cancer which may be in their genetic makeup.

How do you determine the right sunscreen to use?

SPF 30 is generally recommended or SPF 50 if you will be outside for long periods of time.

When should sunscreen be used?

Anytime you are outside, including cloudy days. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm.

How much do we need to use and how often should it be applied?

One ounce every two hours should be used; especially when in the water.

How do you apply sunscreen effectively?

Cover all areas that are exposed, use adequate amounts to cover skin.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. What is the difference between the rays?

UVB rays peak at mid-day, while UVA rays last all day long.

Is a high-number SPF better than a low-number one?

Yes a high-number SPF is better. SPF 15 or higher to achieve adequate protection and 30 or higher is recommended for extended time spent outside.

How do you protect a baby or toddler from the sun?

Newborns to six months of age should be kept out of the sun. Babies six months or older can use sunscreen. It is best to keep babies in the shade with a wide brim hat, long sleeves and long pants. Any exposed skin should have sunscreen applied. Sunglasses with UV protection that are sized for the little one are also a good idea. It is also helpful to have sun shades in the car windows on car trips.

Can I use the sunscreen I bought last summer, or do I need to purchase a new bottle each year? Does it lose its strength?

Sunscreen generally has an expiration date and is good for about 3 years.

Will using sunscreen limit the amount of vitamin D we get?

No. Once your body has completed making an adequate amount the mechanism shuts down.

How do you treat sunburn?

Mild sunburn can be treated with cool compresses, NSAID medication such as Ibuprofen, moisturizing lotion or aloe and drinking plenty of fluids. Any sunburn in a baby under a year old is a medical emergency.

How do you know if your sunburn is worth an urgent medical visit?

Blisters, fever, pain, not feeling well all indicate medical attention is necessary.

How much sunburn can result in skin cancer?

Any sunburn!

If you would like more information on how to protect your children and yourself from sunburn please call Cornerstone Family Healthcare at (845) 563-8000 or visit us at to make an appointment today!

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  • Blog Author

  • Providers involved include:

    Monica Francis, PA

    Avi Silber, MD, FAAP
    Tracy Lucas, FNP
    Adeola Ayodeji, MD, FAAP

    Chanchal Singh, MD
    Sneha Shrivastava, MD
    Penelope Guccione, FNP

    Julie A. O’Connor, CM, LM, MS
    Marian Seliquini, CM, LM, MS

    Koreen E. Thomas, FNP
    Andrea Giovinazzo, FNP-C

    Kate Michalak L.Ac., RPAC

    Alban Burke, DDS

    Neha Dada, O.D.

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