Rite Aid launches sun safety campaign with Skin Cancer Foundation

June 21, 2011

Rite Aid kicked off the summer by launching a new healthy skin care campaign in partnership with the Skin Cancer Foundation. The program includes free consumer information in all Rite Aid stores and online as well as increased professional information for the chain?s pharmacists.

Rite Aid kicked off the summer by launching a new healthy skin care campaign in partnership with the Skin Cancer Foundation. The program includes free consumer information in all Rite Aid stores and online as well as increased professional information for the chain’s pharmacists.

“Our pharmacists regularly get questions about skin care and sun safety,” said Sarah Matunis, pharmacist and corporate clinical coordinator for Rite Aid. “We’re giving them additional resources to help deal with those questions as well as more resources for our patients. We want to help our patients enjoy the summer.”

Enjoying the summer includes not adding to the risk of sun damage, which runs the gamut from premature wrinkles and aging of the skin to potentially fatal skin cancers. About 65% of melanomas and 95% of non-melanoma skin cancers can be traced to ultraviolet exposure from the sun, Matunis said.

The Rite Aid-Skin Cancer Foundation partnership was announced just days before FDA released new rules on labeling for sunscreen lotions and other products. Pharmacists will almost certainly have to field questions about the new rules, Matunis said, but the actual labeling changes don’t take effect until 2012.

One thing that won’t change is the amount of sunscreen needed. It takes about 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) to completely cover the skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Reapplying every 2 hours means an 8-ounce container protects during 16 hours of sun exposure. 

Summer protection tips include using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher; using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen for extended outdoor activity; reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or heavy sweating; avoiding midday sun; staying in the shade when possible; covering up with clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses; avoiding tanning and UV tanning booths; never getting a sun burn; keeping infants out of the sun; checking your skin for visible changes every month; and getting a dermatologic medical exam annually.

A number of medications also increase sensitivity to UV radiation, a side effect patients may not be aware of. Good counseling can help boost awareness of medication-related UV sensitivity and help patients avoid unexpected sun damage.

“Prevention is the key to avoiding sun damage to your skin,” Matunis said.