Are You Burn Bound?


Everyday products may make you sun sensitive

Some common medications and products may raise your risk of sun damage.  Regardless of whether or not you use them, protect your skin by avoiding midday sun, wearing a hat, and using sunscreen.  Here, products with possible "sun side effects":


When Mixed With Sun

What to Do

Antibiotics, acne medication

All antibiotics (especially those for acne) increase photosensitivity, which means you'll burn faster in the sun.

If the sun is unavoidable--for instance, on a beach vacation--talk to your doctor about going off your medication temporarily. 


New prescription arthritis drugs and common painkillers-such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen-can increase photosensitivity.

Skip over the counter painkillers when heading outdoors.  Talk to your doctor about prescriptions. Follow sun precautions, above.


If your sun sensitive (with fair coloring or a family history of skin cancer), these drugs might make you more so.

Discuss possible drug and skin interactions with your doctor, follow sun precautions, above.


Those containing retinol, vitamin A, or alpha-hydroxy acids can make you more sun sensitive than usual.

Don't use these products on days that your going to be in the sun unless they also contain sun protection.


Some ingredients can become toxic, causing an allergic reaction.

Skip the scent when you're heading outdoors.

SOURCE: Dr. Wilma F. Bergfeld, head of dermatological clinical research, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland; Dr. Kevin D. Cooper, chairman of the dermatology department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.


This table was reprinted from the June/July 1999  issue of Child

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