Do nude sunbathers need extra sun protection?

Originally Published: May 7, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 17, 2013
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Hey Alice,

I plan to do some nude sunbathing this summer. What extra precautions should I take with the areas that have never seen the light of day? Should I use a higher SPF on my "naughty parts" than on, say, my arms and legs?

Sunkissed

Dear Sunkissed,

Yes, indeed, total tanners, schmear those hot dogs, buns, and melons with PABA-free UVA/UVB sunscreen lotions that list SPFs (sun protection factors) of at least 15. If you're sunning areas that have never seen the light of day, you may want to strongly consider going higher than SPF 15 and trying a sunscreen with an SPF 30 (according to the most recent research, anything above 30 offers only a small amount of extra protection). Penises, vulvas, breasts, nipples, buttocks, thighs, feet, and other sensitive skin spots that don't get out in the sun very often are poised to burn and blister faster than their more regularly exposed neighbors. It's also worth mentioning that sunscreen should be applied every two hours and more often if you are swimming or doing activities that make you sweat.

Naked and clothed sunbathers alike are wise to take along umbrellas, cover-up clothes, sunglasses, and water for even more protection. Most dermatologists recommend reducing and limiting your time in the sun, or, better yet, abstaining from deliberate bronzing altogether. Sun aside, bare beachgoers might also take note of the irritating potential of sand, pebbles, or broken shells.

For more information on protecting yourself from the summer (or winter!) sun, check out the Related Q&As below.


Have fun in the sun!

Alice