How to Identify, Prevent, and Treat a Sunscreen Allergy

Summer means sun, and plenty of it. As we spend more time at the pool, park, and beach, lathering up with sunscreen can become a daily activity. And it should — applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every time you go outside reduces your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent and your risk of getting melanoma by 50 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. In addition to reducing your skin cancer risk, there is substantial evidence showing that sunscreen helps reduce your risk of skin aging.

However, for some people, applying certain types of sunscreen can also cause a skin allergy. Sunscreen allergies tend to be uncommon, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

But if you’re prone to skin allergies or concerned that you may have a sunscreen allergy, here’s what to do.

Understand Sunscreen Ingredients That May Cause Skin Allergies

There are two types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreen and physical (or mineral) sunscreen.

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