Health Care

5 Places You Overlook When Applying Sunscreen

Woman Applying Sunscreen

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Even though you think you’ve applied the right amount of broad spectrum sunscreen (about four tablespoons), at the proper SPF (30-50), and in the appropriate amount of time before sun exposure (30 minutes), you could be overlooking some very sensitive areas. Below, Tace Rico, MD, dermatologist, at Florida Hospital, takes us through the top five places commonly missed when applying sunscreen. Remember, sunscreen only extends the time you can be in the sun before you burn, so take frequent breaks to stay safe and follow the directions for reapplying.


You would think that your hair is protection enough from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but if it’s thin, or if you’ve parted it, your scalps not protected. If you don’t want to weigh down your hair with sunscreen, be sure to grab a hat.

“The scalp is a sneaky spot where skin cancer can development, so I always remind patients to apply sunscreen there by massaging it into your scalp or to wear a hat. Or, do both!” says Dr. Rico.


No one wants to burn their ears to a crisp, so it’s important to include them in your sunscreen regimen as skin cancers frequently develop there. You may find stick sunscreen, with SPF 30, is the easiest to apply, but be sure to use plenty on all parts of your ears.


Believe it or not, our lips are another area at high risk of skin cancer, especially the lower lip. This applies to men, too! Sunblock made especially for the lips are less irritating than those made for your skin. So, use a lip balm containing SPF 30 and reapply often throughout the day.


UV radiation damages thin skin more quickly, especially the thin, delicate skin around your eyes. And while most skin cancers around the eyes are basal cell carcinomas, a non-life-threatening condition, they can create deformities and require surgery. Your lower eyelid is particularly susceptible to skin cancer because your eyebrow doesn’t protect that area, and it’s where most people don’t apply sunscreen.

Sunglasses are the way to go. Be sure they provide protection from both UVB and UVA rays and sit close to your eyes. If you opt for sunscreen, try a stick or moisturizer with SPF 30 that’s water-resistant so it won’t run into your eyes.

Tops of Feet and Hands

Chances are, if you forget to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet, you won’t do it again. Wearing shoes on sunburnt feet is, to put it mildly, painful. Be sure to rub in sunscreen underneath the straps of flip-flops or sandals, as well as in between toes.

“You might be surprised how often skin cancers are found between the toes,” says Dr. Rico. “Make those tender areas a regular part of your sunscreen application.”

And unless you want your hands to show their age before their time, apply a non-greasy sunscreen to the tops of your hands to minimize sun damage.

Check with your Primary Care Physician (PCP) on how often you need a skin cancer screening. If you don’t have a PCP, contact the Member Experience Center. With one call, we can help you find a physician and get you scheduled for your checkup. Call today at Call855-747-7476.

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