Safer sunscreens and when to start using them

Learn about: Safer sunscreens and when to start using them from Cara Natterson, MD,...
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Safer sunscreens and when to start using them

When you look at the back of a sunscreen bottle, you will notice that it usually says "not to be used in children under six months." That's because pediatricians and dermatologists don't want those little babies to be exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time. Their skin is very sensitive and can burn easily. Sometimes they will get irritated when you try to put any kind of cream or lotion on them. Once a child gets a little bit older, sunscreen is important when you are outside and exposed to the sun for more than about 10 or 15 minutes. I'm a big fan of sunscreen for my kids. The reason is, all of the ingredients stay on the outside of the skin. They don't get absorbed in, so you don't really have to worry about those things and I know that I'm protecting them from future cancer development. The one ingredient that I stay away from is called, oxybenzone. That's the only ingredient that has been shown to show up in the urine after you put the sunscreen on your body. We don't know what it does, but if it's being absorbed, we want to stay away. I would stick with a sunscreen that has zinc or titanium, but not one with oxybenzone.

Learn about: Safer sunscreens and when to start using them from Cara Natterson, MD,...


Expert Bio

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Cara Natterson, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Cara Natterson, MD has treated thousands of children and guided their parents as well. She was a partner at Tenth Street Pediatrics in Santa Monica, California, a large group practice serving infants, children and teenagers. She now runs Worry Proof Consulting, the first of its kind pediatric practice that offers parents open-ended time to review everything from medical questions and biology basics to child development and parenting issues. Cara is also the author of several books on parenting and child health. She has a unique ability to translate cutting edge research into understandable terms for parents and their kids. More recently, Cara’s consulting has extended beyond individual families to include fortune 500 companies seeking expert advice on safety issues, child health, and crisis management.

Cara has appeared on television, in print, and on the web. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and she trained in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Cara is a Board certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. And anyone who knows her knows that Cara is, by nature, one of the most risk-averse people on earth. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

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