True Facts About Sunscreen

Chemical or Mineral?

Chemical sunscreens with ingredients like avobenzone and octocrylene work by absorbing UV radiation and reducing how much penetrates into your skin, explains Elizabeth Hale, MD, a dermatologist in NYC and senior vice president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. Mineral formulas contain things like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which stay on top of the skin and deflect the UV rays. Both are effective, and many formulas even contain a mix of the two. If you have sensitive skin, better to opt for a mineral sunscreen since it doesn’t have any chemical reaction with your skin. NOTE: some popular vacation destinations – like Hawaii and parts of Mexico – are banning certain chemical formulas that are thought to have bleaching effects on coral reefs.

SPF Number

Shelf life varies from 2-3 years, depending on the formula you choose. Look at that date before purchasing, and continue to pay attention to it. The reason: Sunscreens don’t always show obvious signs they are past their prime. Dr. Hale also advises keeping track of where your bottle has been, saying “exposure to UV light and heat can degrade a product a lot faster”. Additionally, if you keep sunscreen in the bathroom, humidity can cause issues as well. Best to replace sunscreen annually.

Expiration Date?

The SPF (sun protection factor) meaures how well the sunscreen blocks out UVB rays – which are primarily what causes sunburns. The number tells you how long it would take to redden your skin vs. the amount of time without it. For example, with SPF 15, it will take you 15 times longer to burn than if you were wearing nothing. So what number should you aim for? You want to choose at least SPF 30, says Melanie Palm, MD, A board-certified dermatologist in Solana Beach, California. Anything higher is a bonus!

Broad Spectrum

UVB rays primarily cause sunburn. The sun’s UVA rays penetrate deeper than UVB and play a role in causing wrinkles. Look for a bottle has says “broad spectrum” or UVA/UVB explains Dr. Hale.

5 Reasons to get the new Shingles Vaccine

If you are lucky enough to find this vaccine, there are a number of questions people have about it. The bottom line…benefits are huge and risks are small and short lived.

  1. Shingles is very common – 1 in 3 adults gets it in their lifetime
  2. The new Shingles vaccine protects earlier and lasts longer
  3. The older you are, the worse Shingles can be.
  4. The new shot can be more painful, but not nearly as bad as Shinlges.
  5. Your old Shingles vaccine may not still be protecting you.

Click for more information

FAQ:

What if I never had Chicken Pox? Most people who never visibly had chicken pox actually did get infected and carry the virus, just like those who had known chicken pox. For this reason, CDC recommends vaccinating everyone age 50 and over REGARDLESS of whether they’ve had visible chicken pox.

Can they check my blood to see if I’ve had chicken pox and need the vaccine? An antibody test can be done, but measurable antibody levels often diminish over time. This does not mean we’re not protected. Its just that we cannot measure antibody levels that low with current technology. Because of these limitations of the test, CDC does NOT recommend testing for Chicken Pox antibodies. All people should be vaccinated.

Is this a live vaccine? Can everyone get it? The first Shingles vaccine (Zostavax) was a live vaccine and could not be given to people with an abnormal immune system – e.g. people taking immunosuppresive medications, getting cancer chemo or radiation treatment, have immune deficiency disorders, etc. The new Shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is a killed vaccine and can be given to anyone, regardless of their immune issues.

What to do with unused medications?

Most medications are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems.  Additionally, scientists have found medicines in surface, ground and marine waters as well as soil.   You especially want to make sure unused controlled medications (e.g. opiates, Xanax, etc.) are not diverted for illicit use.

So, what are we to do?

Medicine take-back programs are the best way

to dispose of unwanted medicines. There are a number of agencies that now have prescription take-back kiosks in San Diego County, but figuring out where they are can be a challenge.  Below is a compilation of all the kiosk locations I could find. Most locations are open Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm but I recommend checking before heading out.

North County

4S Ranch Sheriff’s Substation – 10282 Rancho Bernardo Road, San Diego 92127
Carlsbad Police Department – 2560 Orion Way, Carlsbad 92010
CVS Carlsbad – 2510 El Camino Real, Carlsbad 92008
CVS Escondido – 318 W El Norte Parkway, Escondido 92026
CVS La Jolla – 8831 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla 92037
CVS Mira Mesa – 8260 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Dan Diego 92126
Encinitas Sheriff’s Station – 175 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas 92024
Escondido Police Dept – 1163 N. Center City Pkwy, Escondido 92026
Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation – 388 E Alvarado Street, Fallbrook 92028
Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy – 400 Craven Road, San Marcos 92069
Oceanside Police Department – 4927 Oceanside Boulevard, Oceanside 92056
Poway Sheriff Station – 13100 Bowron Road, Poway 92064
San Marcos Sheriff Station – 182 Santar Place, San Marcos 92069
San Diego Police Northwestern Division – 12592 El Camino Real, San Diego 92130

  • Box is located on north side at pedestrian gate. 24 hours/7 days a week

Scripps Green Ambulatory Pharmacy – 10710 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla 92037
Scripps Encinitas Ambulatory Pharmacy – 310 Santa Fe Drive, Suite 109, Encinitas 92024
Vista Detention Facility – 325 S Melrose Drive, Suite 200, Vista 92081
Vista Sheriff’s Station – 325 S Melrose Drive, Suite 210, Vista 92081
UCSD Outpatient Pavillion Pharmacy – 9400 Campus Point Dr, La Jolla 92037
Walgreen’s – 10787 Camino Ruiz, San Diego 92126
Walgreen’s – 3752 Mission Avenue, Oceanside 92058
Walgreen’s – 4181 Oceanside Boulevard, Oceanside 92056

Northeast County

Borrego Springs Sheriff’s Office – 571 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs 92004
Indian Health Council Pharmacy (Rincon Clinic) – 50100 Golsh Road, Valley Center 92082
Julian Sheriff’s Substation – 2907 Washington Street, Julian 92036
Ranchita Sheriff’s Substation – 25704 San Felipe Road, Warner Springs 92086
Valley Center Sheriff’s Substation – 28201 N Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center 92082

South County

Chula Vista Police Dept – 315 4th Ave, Chula Vista 91910 (No controlled meds allowed)
Coronado Police Department – 700 Orange Avenue, Coronado 92118
CVS National City – 1201 E. Plaza Boulevard, National City 91950
George Bailey Detention Facility – 446 Alta Road, Suite 5300, San Diego 92158
Imperial Beach Sheriff’s Substation – 845 Imperial Beach Blvd, Imperial Beach 91932
Medical Center Pharmacy – 340 4th Avenue, Chula Vista 91910
San Diego Police Southern Division – 1120 27th Street, San Diego 92154
San Diego Police Southeastern Division – 7222 Skyline Drive, San Diego 92114
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Pharmacy – 751 Medical Center Ct, Chula Vista 91911
South Bay Detention Facility – 500 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista 91910

Central San Diego

Community Medical Center Pharmacy – 610 Gateway Center Way, San Diego 92102
CVS Pacific Beach – 1792 Garnet Avenue, San Diego 92109
CVS Hillcrest – 313 Washington Street, San Diego 92103
CVS North Park – 3151 University Avenue, San Diego 92104
Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy – 4405 Vandever Avenue, San Diego 92120
Medical Center Pharmacy – 4074 Fairmont Avenue, San Diego 92105
San Diego Central Jail – 1173 Front Street, San Diego 92101
San Diego County Administration Center – 1600 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego 92101
San Diego Police Mid-City Division – 4310 Landis Street, San Diego 92105
San Diego Police Western Division – 5215 Gaines Street, San Diego 92110
Scripps Mercy Ambulatory Pharmacy – 4060 4th Avenue, Suite 110, San Diego 92103
Sheriff’s John F. Duffy Administrative Center – 9621 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego 92123
Walgreen’s Clairmont – 5504 Balboa Avenue, San Diego 92111
Walgreen’s North Park – 3222 University Avenue, San Diego 92104

East County

Alpine Sheriff’s Station – 2751 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine 91901
Campo Sheriff’s Substation – 378 Sheridan Road, Campo 91906
CVS Santee – 9730 Mission Gorge Road, Santee 92071
Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy – 8080 Parkway Drive, La Mesa 91942
Lakeside Sheriff’s Station – 12365 Parkside Street, Lakeside 92040
Las Colinas Detention Facility – 9000 Cottonwood Avenue, Santee 92071
Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Station – 3240 Main Street, Lemon Grove 91945
Pine Valley Sheriff’s Substation – 28696 Old Hwy 80, Pine Valley 91962
Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s Station – 11486 Campo Road, Spring Valley 91978
San Diego Police Eastern Division – 9225 Aero Drive, San Diego 92123
Santee Sheriff’s Station – 8811 Cuyamaca Street, Santee 92071

Military locations

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Pharm – 35000 Guadalcanal Ave BLDG 596, San Diego 92140
Naval Medical Center San Diego Pharmacy – 34800 Bob Wilson Drive, San Diego 92134
Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton – 200 Mercy Circle, Camp Pendleton 92055