Sticking it to sun exposure

The best way to prevent sunburns is to properly use sunscreen but it can be tricky keeping track of when you need to reapply. One solution that is taking over social media is UV detection stickers. These nickel-size stickers start purple but turn clear once you’ve applied sunscreen over them. They will turn back to purple when it’s time to reapply.

We asked Dr. Ida Orengo, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, about these stickers and how they can help when you’re out in the sun.

An adult helping a child apply sunscreen while on the beach.Question: How do you recommend using UV detection stickers? 

Answer: They can be a visual reminder that you are getting a lot of sun exposure. Think of them as an alarm to remind you when it is time to put on more sunscreen or get out of the sun if that is an option.

Q: Is there a “best place” to put them?

A: You want to put them on areas that get the most sun exposure, are less likely to fall off and are easy to see. I would recommend either your shoulders or forearms.

Q: Will they leave a mark?

A: They could leave a non-tanned area, like rings or shoes do, since the sun can’t penetrate them. Something to keep in mind is that it is possible that users may have an allergic reaction to the adhesive in the stickers and may get a rash. If you notice one, please remove the sticker immediately.

Q: How does this change sun protection?

A: It is another tool to help users protect themselves from too much sun exposure. I also use the saying “short shadow, seek shade” as a reminder that more sun protection should be used in the middle of the day.

By Anna Kiappes

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