Sun screen side effects you need to know

It is advised to wear sunscreen while outdoors to prevent skin cancers, premature aging and sunburn. However these chemical sunscreens have side effects because of medications like sulfa drugs, tetracyclines and phenothiazines in them.

The common side effects of sunscreen are:

 The chemicals in sunscreens cause skin irritations like swelling, itching, irritation and redness. Some people even develop severe allergic reactions with rashes and intense itching because of fragrances and preservatives in sunscreens.

PABA found in commercial sunscreens cause a high rate of allergic reactions and is getting removed from popular sunscreens of reputed brands. It’s also better to buy sunscreens labeled ‘hypoallergenic’.

If you are not sure if any allergic reaction is caused by a sunscreen product, just get a dermatologist to do a patch test. It’s also better to use sunscreens containing zinc oxide as they are less allergic.

Worsens acne

Chemicals in sunscreen can worsen your acne problem. So to avoid this side effect, it’s better to buy non-comedogenic and non-oily sunscreen which suits your skin type. It’s’ better to not use sunscreen on the face as it’s too heavy.

Irritates eyes

Sunscreen in the eye can lead to pain, irritation, burning and temporary light sensitivity. Some chemical sunscreens can also cause blindness; so if sunscreen reaches the eyes, thoroughly rinse the eyes with cool water or see your doctor.

Increased breast cancer risk

Some sunscreen have ingredients which affect the blood’s estrogen levels and can create estrogenic effects on breast cancer cells. It’s thus better to avoid using chemical sunscreens on children as their skin instantly absorbs the chemicals.

Painful hairy areas

Sunscreen is available as gels, sprays, lotions, creams, ointments and wax sticks for you to choose from. While gels are best for hair areas like the scalp or male chest, some sunscreens can lead to tightening or drying of the skin and possible pain in hairy areas.

Pus in hair follicles

Some sundresses can lead to itchy spots on the skin which develops into bumpy red rashes, which ultimately develop into pus-filled blisters around hair follicles.

How to avoid sunscreen side effects

  • Wash off, and stop using sunscreen which causes redness or irritation.
  • It’s better to not use sunscreens on kids younger than 6 months of age.
  • If you plan to use a new sunscreen, first talk to your doctor about it.
  • Wisely choose sunscreens for children.
  • If you have oily skin, it’s better to choose and use oil-free and non comedogenic sunscreen.
  • If you are outside for long periods, keep reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Lip balm form of sunscreens should be applied only to the lip area. .

With so many side effects of sunscreen, using natural and chemical-free products is the best way to get rid of such problems. Use titanium or zinc oxide-based sunscreens to keep estrogenic effects or allergic reactions at bay.