What is a Sunscreen?
Summer is almost there. It feels very nice to think of the warm weather and getting outdoors. So does the concerns about the heat and its effect on the skin and confusion about using sunscreen returns.
Sunscreen is a topical product designed for photoprotection. It absorbs or reflects some of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and thereby helps to protect against sunburn and prevent skin cancer. Sunscreens come in different forms of topical products like lotions, sprays, gels, foams, sticks, powders, etc.
People with fair skin are very much prone to sunburn, erythemas, freckles, blisters, keratosis, telangiectasias and, skin cancer. On the other side, dark-skinned people are rarely affected by such conditions due to the high melanin content in the skin which naturally protects their skin from damage. Hence Indians are less prone to skin cancer thanks to our dark and dusky complexion. But using sunscreen regularly in all types of complexion and skin tone has its own benefits.
Uses/Benefits of sunscreen
- Regular use of sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancer and melanoma.
- It helps to slow down the ageing signs such as the development of wrinkles and loose skin.
- Prevents photo-ageing of the skin and discolouration.
- Sunscreen helps prevent dark spots from sun damage, helping you maintain a smoother and more even skin tone.
Sun protection factor
The sun protection factor is a measure of the fraction of sunburn-causing UV rays that affect the skin. For instance, “SPF 15” means that 1⁄15 of the radiation might reach the skin, after being absorbed or filtered, or reflected by the sunscreen if applied evenly at the rate of 2 milligrams per square centimetre.
How to choose a good sunscreen?
Sunscreens with higher SPF do not mean that they will remain effective for a longer duration. It must be reapplied as directed, usually at every two hours interval. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF range of 15-30 is ideal for Indian skin. For Indian skin, an SPF of 15 is enough for dusky skin tone but in cases of fair skin tone, it is wise to choose an SPF of 30 and above but not more than 50. These are the recommended values to prevent skin cancer.
- Choose a cream-based sunscreen for dry skin and a gel-based sunscreen for oily skin while a lotion works fine for normal skin.
- If you are more concerned, you can choose a sunscreen with UVA coverage (labelled as uva++ or uva+++). This will prevent skin damage and protect the skin from wrinkles, and splotches.
- Opt for a water-resistance sunscreen that does not contain para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) if your skin is allergic or sensitive to it.
How to use Sunscreen?
Sunscreens should only be used on the skin. Apply it generously to all the exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure, especially in the ears and nose, which are more prone to skin cancer. Sunscreen should be applied and re-applied at an interval of every 2 hours in a day. It should also be applied after being in the water or after sweating.
Sunscreen should not be used on infants younger than 6 months of age. Even though you apply sunscreen, it is always wise to wear hats, sunglasses and, protective clothing for better protection from radiation. Limit sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most direct and intense.
Types of sunscreens
- Chemical sunscreens: work by absorbing the sun’s rays. They contain one or more of the following chemical compositions such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. They are easier to rub into the skin without leaving a white residue.
- Mineral sunscreens: they act as a shield by deflecting the sun’s rays. They contain mineral compounds such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It is best suited for sensitive skin.
Side-effects of sunscreen
- One of the main concerns of using sunscreen is that it might lead to vitamin D deficiency and affect calcium metabolism.
- It may cause allergic reactions to the skin like rash and itching.
- It can make acne worse.
- Some ingredients may be carcinogenic, especially Zno and Tio2
Homeopathic treatment for sunburn
There are various sunscreen products available in India which is effective and unique in their own way. Dr Wilmar Schwabe India’s BT Sunscreen Expert is one of the best sunscreens available in the market. It has the healing properties of homeopathic medicines like Calendula Officinalis, Berberis aquifolium and, Aloe vera. Some of the other products from the renowned manufacturer of homeopathic medicines and products in India to treat sunburns and other skin problems are, B&T Aloe vera & Calendula Multipurpose cream, Topi Heal cream, and Topi Cantharis cream. They are useful to treat sunburns and also other skin troubles.
There are various homeopathic medicines to treat sunburns. Some of the main remedies are Calendula, Cantharis, Sulphur, Sol, Apis mellifica, Urtica urens, Belladonna, etc.
Calendula, Hypericum and Urtica Urens can be used externally for sunburns in the mother tincture form by regularly applying over the affected parts.
B&T Sunscreen Expert
BT Sunscreen Expert is a specially formulated sunscreen with the goodness of well-indicated homeopathic medicines such as Calendula Officinalis, Berberis aquifolium, and Aloe vera. This sunscreen provides protection from acute and long-term risks associated with UVA and UVB light exposure and prevents sunburn. Other than being a herb-based sunscreen, it also
- Prevents skin darkening, thickening of the skin, and pigmentation
- Non-greasy, non-oily, and can be used for a long time without any side effects
- Protection from UVA and UVB radiation
BT Aloe Vera & Calendula cream
- It is suitable for all skin types
- It helps to treat sunburns and skin irritation
- It can be used for supple skin and healthy skin
- It can be used for dryness of skin, blemishes, and skin rashes
- It can be used for face and body massage
- As it has healing properties, it can be used for minor nip and cuts
- Skin blemishes & dark spots
- It can be used for sore nipples and nappy rashes
B&T Calendula & Aloe Vera multipurpose creamProduct on sale
Best Homeopathic medicines for skin
It is used to treat acne vulgaris, blisters from herpes and eczema, rashes, sun-induced rashes, ringworms, etc.
It is very useful in treating minor skin burns, blisters that itch, and irritation of the skin. When applied as a topical remedy, it relieves pain and promotes healing.
It is used for wounds that heal very slowly, boils and cold sores, painful abscesses, flaky skin or eczema, cracked skin, eczema, and painful acne. It promotes suppuration and faster healing.
It is used for treating warts, acne, and age spots.
It is a very important remedy to treat crusta lacteal, an infection noticed in the scalp of infants, seborrhoeic dermatitis with flaky, scaly, and greasy scalp, crusts, and scabs with intense itching and pus.
It is one of the head remedies to treat various skin problems. it is used in cases of psoriasis, allergic dermatitis, eczema, scabies, skin ulcers, lice infestation, vitiligo, etc.
It is one of the best homeopathic medicines to treat eczema. It is also used in cases of scabby eruptions on joints, between fingers, behind the ears or on the scalp, dry and scaly skin, fissured eczema that bleeds, eruptions with thick discharge, itchy eczema on the scalp and face
Useful in treating chronic eczema, psoriasis, and urticaria. Itching and inflammation of the skin, acne, urticaria, ulcers that burn and ooze, etc.
It is suitable for unhealthy skin with intense itching and burning sensation after scratching. It can be used to treat pustular eruptions, dry and itchy scalps, eruptions with yellow crusts, itching in the folds of the skin, brittle nails, acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
It is very helpful in treating eczema with vesicular eruptions accompanied by violent itching, swelling, tingling, etc. Eruptions that come around during nighttime and cold weather. Eczema with rheumatic pains. Extreme itching and persistent tingling sensations.
This is the best medicine for herpes, with dry skin eruptions followed by moist discharge leading to brownish, liver, or yellow spots. It is also helpful for eczema and psoriasis.