Scalp Sunscreen - Is It Necessary?
Scalp sunscreen...do you ever think to use it? I doubt it. But people who have thin hair or very light colored hair may be prone to sunburn on their scalp in the summer and should use extra protection.
Skin cancer can develop on the scalp, particularly on an area that isn't well covered by hair. Skin cancer can quickly destroy skin cells and may spread to other parts of the body. Like elsewhere on the body, skin cancer may look like a skin lesion, growth, a mole, a sore that doesn't heal, or skin irritation.
How To Protect Your Scalp
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is one of the simplest ways to protect your scalp from excessive sun exposure. Unfortunately, not everybody tolerates hats well. Some people complain that they cause headaches and so they need alternative methods of protecting the scalp from sunburn. Scalp sunscreens are made by some, but not all of the major sunscreen makers. Often it is spray-on, though sometimes it is dabbed on with an applicator, and sometimes it comes in stick form that resembles lip balm. Some people simply use the sunscreen they wear on their face on their scalp.
Often the spray-on sunscreens that people use on their scalps are what are known as chemical sunblock. They contain ingredients (some harmful!) such as avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, oxybenzone, denatured alcohol, acrylates/Octylacrylamid coplymer, and glycerin. Chemical sunscreens do not start to work immediately after application. It may take up to 20 minutes for the sunscreen to react with the skin and start working, so it is best to apply it a few well before going outdoors.
There are other sunscreens that aren't chemical, but that provide a natural, physical block instead which is quickly becoming the preferred choice. These include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreen. These natural compounds form a physical barrier between the skin and the sun that begins immediately upon application. These are often found in sunblocks formulated for babies and toddlers.
Hair And Scalp Sunscreen
Sunscreen for hair is not the same as scalp sunscreen. It is supposed to protect the hair from UV sun exposure and is marketed to people who have coloured their hair. You should not count on a hair sunscreen to protect exposed parts of your scalp, but should use both types of sunscreen. For best results, apply a physical sunblock along exposed parts of your scalp or wear a hat. If you find the sunscreen to be too heavy to be comfortable, you can try a spray-on chemical sunblock, but beware that it takes a few minutes to begin working.
Protecting the scalp from damaging ultraviolet rays is just as important as protecting other exposed parts of the body. Skin cancer can develop on the scalp, and may go longer before being detected because it is easily covered by hair at first. In addition to protecting your scalp, examining your scalp periodically is a good idea.
Exit Scalp Sunscreen & Return To Sunscreen Facts