90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Shade Or Sunscreen? Study Answers What’s More Effective Against Sunburn

Scientists compared an umbrella's effectiveness to sunscreen. (Blueraspberry, Wikimendia)

Sunscreen is more effective than an umbrella at preventing sunburns – but may not be enough to completely prevent sunburns.

That’s according to a randomized study comparing sunscreen to umbrellas, where participants spent more than three hours on the beach during midday.

Researchers recruited 81 volunteers who always burn, but never tan. One group only used SPF 100 sunscreen; the other group was directed to stay under a beach umbrella that blocked all UV rays.

The participants were allowed to cover up and take breaks from the heat, but most only left for a few minutes. When they were checked for sunburns the next day, 25 percent of those using sunscreen were burned. But 78 percent of those using an umbrella had a burn.

Study Author Hao Ou-Yang says the results show sunscreen is more effective, but that people should be using both sunscreen and shade to protect from burns.

“The overall takeaway I would say is to get optimal protection, you need a combination of sun protection measures. You need to seek shade, need to use sunscreen, and probably need to think about reducing overall sun exposure time,” said Ou-Yang. “For Florida, it’s critical to think about those things.”

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dermatology journal. It was funded by Johnson and Johnson, which makes sunscreen.

WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Previous Health Reporter