Living Well: Don't Be In the Dark on Sunscreens and Skin Cancer

Living Well: Don't Be In the Dark on Sunscreens and Skin Cancer

SEATTLE -- On May 16, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an article by Bob Condor titled "Living well: Don't be in the dark on sunscreens and skin cancer," which featured quotes and helpful advice from two Swedish-affiliated dermatologists, Drs. Kim Gittere Abson and Brandith Irwin.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the article:

The questions were fast and furious for Dr. Kim Gittere Abson during a skin cancer screening clinic this past Friday morning at Swedish Medical Center.

"Mostly patients want to know about spots on the skin, is it cancer, that sort of thing," said Abson, chief of dermatology at Swedish, with a private practice at the Polyclinic.

Abson always gets her share of sunscreen queries. "The current data on sunscreens is the best protection comes from what are known as 'physical' sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide," said Abson. The other category of sunscreens are called "chemical" sunscreens, which means they metabolize with the skin to protect against skin damage. Abson said chemical sunscreens require 20 to 30 minutes before full effectiveness.

In any case, dermatologists are quick to explain sunscreens are far from the end-all and protect-all. "The myth is sunscreens protect against all UV (ultraviolet) rays, A and B," said Dr. Brandith Irwin, who practices at the Madison Skin and Laser Clinic on First Hill. "That's just not the case."

To read the remainder of this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article, click here.

To learn more about the two Swedish-affiliated dermatologists who co-chair Swedish's annual skin-cancer screening program, click here and here.

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