imageDr. Kelly Jerstad is a board certified dermatologist in South Dakota. You may also know her as The Social Dermatologist, on the website The Social Derm. Be Well South Dakota is honored to have her as our featured guest blogger this week!




Fact:  Sunscreen prevents skin cancer and wrinkling.  The most preventable risk factor for developing skin cancer is sun exposure.

But what sunscreen should you choose?

A sunscreen labeled “Broad Spectrum.”
It is only recently that the FDA has begun regulating sunscreen labeling.  Now, unlike in the past, when a sunscreen is labeled “Broad Spectrum” it actually is.  This means it passes tests that show it significantly protects against both UVA (which can cause skin cancer but are the rays that mostly cause aging) and UVB (which cause the majority of skin cancer but also cause some photoaging).  But the SPF number on sunscreen tells you only about the protection provided against UVB, not UVA.  There is no number or rating that tells you how good a sunscreen is against UVA except the label “Broad Spectrum.”

A sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 25 to protect against UVB sunlight which causes skin cancer.
Some ask, “do I really need anything more than an SPF of 15?”  Theoretically, reapplication of a shotglass size amount of sunscreen at least every two hours should be sufficient protection against sunburn in most situations.  But, most people do not use enough sunscreen or reapply frequently enough.  For this reason, I absolutely DO recommend using a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 25.  It’s still important to reapply at least every two hours and use it liberally.

Look for specific ingredients to protect against UVA sunlight.
If you are worried about aging skin, you have to look for specific ingredients.  Although some ingredients may be difficult to find, they include, but are not limited to, mexoryl, helioplex, Tinsorb, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for example.

For moms:

One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life. A person’s risk for melanoma also doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age.”  (

Children under 6 months of age should be kept in the shade.  They cannot regulate their body temperature as effectively and get easily overheated so I recommend light weight clothing and shade.  And because their skin barrier is not mature, they absorb more through their skin than older children.  That’s why sunscreens are not recommended for babies, especially chemical sunscreens or microionized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide; just think shade!

All children should have a long-sleeved rash guard and swim shorts as well as a wide brimmed hat.  Avoid direct sun between 10 and 4.  Bikinis are cute, in the evenings J!    But you can still get a sunburn in the evening so you still need sun protection in the evenings.


I recommend a sunscreen stick such as the Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block (not the Continuous Protection line) or Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby for sunscreen on the face.   Kids don’t seem to mind sunscreen sticks as much as lotions and creams smeared all over their faces.  These specific sunscreen sticks use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active sunscreen ingredients.  I like this because physical sunscreen ingredients are not chemical sunscreens.  I typically recommend avoiding chemical sunscreen in children younger than 2 years old.  Although physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) have a slight white tint to them, it allows you to see where you have missed.  After you get the sunscreen applied thoroughly which you should be able to see, you can rub it in to decrease the white tint.  The higher the concentration of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the better the protection but the whiter the look.  Microionized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide help minimize the white look to these physical sunscreens.  Zany Zinc by Solar Sense is a colored facial 25% zinc oxide for faces and kids like it because it’s like facial paint!  It’s great for the nose or cheeks under the eyes.


Creams and lotions are better for kids’ bodies because they are quicker to apply.  Again, I recommend looking for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the active ingredients vs. the chemical sunscreens.  Look for SPF of 30 or above.  My favorite brands are Blue Lizard Australian Creamand Neutrogena Pure and Free.  These can go on kind of white but that way you know where you are getting it and you can try to rub it in to take away a little of the white effect.  But unless you go more with the chemical sunscreens, it is almost impossible to avoid the slight whitening of your child’s skin.  But young kids don’t seem to mind the white look and I’ll take a little white glow over skin cancer and premature aging!


I know moms love the spray sunscreens because they are quick and easy but I really recommend they only be used in time crunch emergencies which we all have.  The spray sunscreens are chemical sunscreens, again which I try to avoid in younger children.  It’s also difficult to quantify how much you are actually using and where it is going so it’s easy to overestimate the protection you are actually getting.  In fact, most people don’t use enough of the spray.  The FDA does not regulate sunscreen sprays because of these difficult issues.

 In any case, remember to reapply at least every two hours.

If you are a mom who is concerned with sunscreens because of all of the chemicals in the active and inactive ingredients and you prefer only natural ingredients, check out Badger sunscreen products.


The rules for August are the same, print and follow the 30-Day Challenge that you can find HERE and mark off each “back to school tip” that you have completed.  At the end of the 30-Day challenge, for those of you who complete 20 or more days, simply email us at and let us know how you did.  By emailing us, you will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card!  Let’s get started as the challenge ends August 30th.

Follow us on Facebook for even more motivation!

Good luck,
The Be Well South Dakota Team



Summertime can mean great things for the amount of activity you get in your daily life, but summertime barbeques, chips, deli-salads, and alcoholic drinks can wreak havoc on your healthy lifestyle. Try this version of a strawberry daiquiri that the whole family can enjoy without the extra calories!

Mocktail Strawberry Daiquiri
2 ½ cups of Frozen Strawberries (frozen fresh or from the freezer aisle)
3 Tablespoons of Splenda (Stevia, etc)
2 Tablespoons of Lime Juice
3 Cups of Ice Cubes

Combine strawberries, splenda, and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes and blend until frothy. Serves 4.

Try experimenting with different fruits for even more variety!

It’s summertime and often that means more barbeques, friend and family gatherings and adult beverages….if you are of legal age.  This blog post is not intended for anyone under the age of 21 years old!

Not that alcohol consumption is a bad thing, but if you are looking to lose weight…..Let’s just say alcohol and weight loss aren’t exactly the best of friends.  An occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note some health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for high blood pressure If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily for women and two drinks daily for men, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans.

Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are slowly digested and absorbed within your system. When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion.  When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage on your body.  Wha Wha Wha…..

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Alcohol contains NO nutritional value. It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier?  Coming from someone who loves food, I would rather use my calories towards food than alcohol…but pick your battles J

Alcohol affects your body in other negative ways. Drinking may help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn’t very deep. As a result, you get less rest, which can trigger you to eat more calories the next day. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you’re done with your meal.

What are more important, calories or carbs? You might think that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbohydrates, while both wine and beer do contain carbs. But dieters need to watch calories, and liquor only has a few calories less than beer or wine. Plus, it is often mixed with other drinks, adding even more empty calories. Hard liquor contains around 100 calories per shot, so adding a mixer increases calories even more. If you are going to mix liquor with anything, opt for a diet or club soda, instead of fruit juice or regular soda. Sweeter drinks, whether liquor or wine, tend to have more sugar, and therefore more calories. In that respect, dry wines usually have fewer calories than sweet wines.

The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks. Compare some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a serving of alcohol.


Serving Size


Red wine

5 oz.


White wine

5 oz.



5 oz.


Light beer

12 oz.


Regular beer

12 oz.


Dark beer

12 oz.



3 oz.



3 oz.


Long Island iced tea

8 oz.


Gin & Tonic

8 oz.


Rum & Soda

8 oz.



8 oz.


Whiskey Sour

4 oz.


As promised from yesterday’s blog post…

Here is a delicious and easy recipe for breakfast on the go—Breakfast Burritos.

The best thing about breakfast burritos is that besides being a hot, well-balanced, nutritious breakfast, they freeze well.  I love having a stash of frozen breakfast burritos available for my family!

**You can vary the additions to this recipe for breakfast burritos. Add onions, peppers or frozen hash brown potatoes, omit the salsa, and try using different types of cheese or flavored tortillas. The possibilities are endless!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos
12 eggs
2 TBSP olive oil or butter
1 lb cooked breakfast meat (turkey sausage, bacon, turkey ham, etc.)
½ cup salsa
2 cups low fat cheese (Cheddar, Pepper Jack, etc.)
12 to 24 flour tortillas (depending on size)

In large skillet, melt oil or butter. Beat eggs in large bowl and add to skillet. Cook eggs in butter, stirring frequently, until scrambled and set. Add cooked meat and salsa to egg mixture and mix gently.

Warm tortillas as directed on package. Place about 1/2 cup egg and meat mixture onto each tortilla and sprinkle with some cheese. Roll up each tortilla to make burritos, folding in the ends and rolling up. Enjoy.

Directions for freezing:  Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and freeze until solid. Then wrap individually and package in zip-lock freezer bags.  (If time is short, I skip placing burritos on cookie sheets, instead placing them in individual baggies and then freeze—they hold their shape better if you do freeze on cookie sheet.)

When you’re ready to eat, unwrap the burritos, wrap loosely in microwave safe paper towel and heat in the microwave on high power for 1-3 minutes until hot and cheese is melted.

Or if you are feeding a crowd, you can also thaw burritos in the refrigerator overnight, then wrap each in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until hot.

SUMMER TIME TIP:  Pair breakfast burritos with a salad and some watermelon and you have a quick, nutritious supper on hot summer nights.

Question:  Have you made breakfast burritos? If so, what are your favorite “extra” ingredients you add?