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Generic Name: sunscreen (SUN-screen)
Brand Name: Examples include Coppertone and PreSun
Sunscreen is used for:
Preventing sunburn and protecting against skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.
Sunscreen is a sunscreen. It works by blocking the sun's UV rays.
Do NOT use sunscreen if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in sunscreen
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using sunscreen:
Some medical conditions may interact with sunscreen. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with sunscreen. However, no specific interactions with sunscreen are known at this time.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if sunscreen may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use sunscreen:
Use sunscreen as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Sunscreen is for external use only. Avoid getting sunscreen in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you get sunscreen in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water.
- Use this product exactly as directed on the package labeling unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
- Before exposure to the sun, gently rub the product into the skin until it is evenly distributed.
- For best results, apply liberally and frequently every 1 to 2 hours, after swimming, or when perspiring heavily.
- If you miss a dose of sunscreen, use it as soon as you remember. Continue to use it as directed by your doctor or on the package label.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use sunscreen.
Important safety information:
- Limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreens may reduce the risks of skin aging, skin cancer, and other harmful effects of the sun. Use sunscreens on cloudy days as well as around surfaces that reflect sun rays, including water and snow. Children and infants need higher sun protection factor (SPF) values than adults do.
- Be sure you know whether or not your product is a waterproof sunscreen.
- Sunscreens containing forms of aminobenzoic acid may stain light-colored fabrics yellow.
- Use sunscreen with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 months of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while taking sunscreen, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using sunscreen during pregnancy. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using sunscreen, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of sunscreen:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Acne; skin irritation.
Severe allergic reactions (hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); severe or persistent skin irritation.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of sunscreen:
Store sunscreen at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Keep sunscreen out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about sunscreen, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Sunscreen is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take sunscreen or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about sunscreen. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to sunscreen. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using sunscreen.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.