Sun Safety: Five Tips for Summer Skin Protection
Posted June 25, 2018
Get your skin checked every year by a board-certified dermatologist.
We recommend that any patient with a new skin lesion that is still present after two weeks be evaluated. Any mole that has changed to a darker color, changed shape, has gotten larger, or has become raised, red or itchy should be evaluated. We also recommend any patient that has had a history of skin cancer be evaluated yearly.
Wear your sunscreen!
Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes prior to sun exposure as it takes 15-20 minutes for the sunscreen to establish its barrier. Studies show that unprotected skin will begin to burn within 20 minutes of exposure. Sunscreen should be re-applied every 2-3 hours and as needed if sweating or swimming. An SPF of 30 should protect most skin types. A hat and sun protective clothing may also be used as an effective barrier. Sunscreen should be applied daily as part of your a.m. routine and can be found in most cosmetic products.
Protect the kids.
Kids need to be reminded to apply and re-apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours when outdoors. Remember the scalp, tops of ears, noses, and shoulders are the most commonly burned areas. Sun protective clothing, hats and umbrellas all provide barriers from excessive sun exposure. Skin cancer is the result of continued sun damage from our youth throughout our adulthood.
Protect the eyes.
Most patients remember to grab a hat but forget to protect their eyes. We recommend investing in a good pair of sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB wavelength protection. Melanoma can occur to the eyes and eyelid area as well as excessive aging due to overexposure of the sun.
For our athletes…
As the temperatures rise, athletes shed their winter gear for lighter wear that allows for more sun exposure to the head, neck, torso, and extremities. We recommend sunscreen application become part of the pre-workout routine. Sunscreen is only effective 20 minutes after application as it requires time to establish a barrier on the skin. Hats, glasses and sun-protective clothing should be considered even on cloudy or overcast days.