BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
Although 68% of Americans know this, only 42% actually apply sunscreen according to a recent study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
"All day long we ask people to use sunscreen and what I found is that most patients just haven’t found a sunscreen that they like,” said Dr. Corey Hartman, a dermatologist at the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama.
With so many sunscreens on the market, Hartman says it can be confusing when trying to decide which one works best.
When looking on the sunscreen label, look for water resistant and broad-spectrum coverage with a SPF of at least 30. Apply it generously and reapply every two hours.
"If you are looking for the safest and most effective sunscreen, I would recommend sticking to physical sunscreens that contain either zinc or titanium,” Hartman said.
Hartman tells us Neutrogene baby and Blue Lizard are good physical sunscreens to use. Hartman says some chemical sunscreen brands can cause allergic reactions or other potentially harmful side effects.
Another recent study by the University of Utah shows states with fewer melanoma cases have higher death rates. Alabama falls into that category.
Hartman says a number of his patients spend extended amounts of time out in the sun. He says it’s important to get routine skin checkups if you do.
"My sense is that patients aren’t being diagnosed with melanoma and then when they are they are finding it at later stages and then the mortality rate is higher because of the late stage of diagnosis,” Hartman said.
You can read more on the study here