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HHS HealthBeat (July 4, 2011)

Baste, don't cook

Family enjoying a barbeque
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Summer is sun season, when lots of us cook ourselves until we’re overdone by spending too much time in the sun with too little sun protection. The least these burns can lead to is redness and peeling skin; the worst is skin cancer. But proper use of sunscreens can reduce the risks. At the Food and Drug Administration, dermatologist Jill Lindstrom reminds us to follow FDA-approved label directions for sunscreens:

``This includes applying, spreading it on thoroughly, and reapplying it at least every two hours – more often, if you’re sweating or jumping in an out of the water.’’ (8 seconds)

That’s because waterproof or water-resistant sunscreens do wash off.

To reduce your risk of sunburn, you also can avoid the sun when its rays are strongest – between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 11, 2011