In The Media: Article

Sunscreen Protection

Even though the summer’s over, the sun can still cause a lot of skin damage. It is still necessary to put on sunscreen when you’re outdoors.

Sunscreens: you slather it on before you go to the beach. It keeps you from being fried to a crisp. It helps prevent your skin from getting that wrinkled, leathery look. And it protects you from the ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer. Right ?

Avoid the sun during the middle of the day, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the atmosphere absorbs less of the harmful UV rays of sunlight than earlier or later in the day.

Well, it is all mostly true. Most sunscreens do protect the skin from the sun. They absorb the majority of the UVB rays. However, most sunscreens do not protect the skin from the longer UVA wavelengths. And that may be critical to the creation of skin cancer. Approximately 65% of melanomas and 90% of basal and squamous cell skin cancers are attributed to UV exposure.

So to prevent premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer, you need to protect yourself and your family from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. And sunscreen alone will not protect you. You need to use a total program to reduce the sun's harmful effects.

  • Lavishly apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply it every two hours according to the directions on the label.
  • Reapply sunscreen as needed after swimming, sweating or towel drying. And use sunscreen even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the atmosphere absorbs less of the harmful UV rays of sunlight than earlier or later in the day.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing, and sunglasses.

Never leave children exposed to the sun without adequate protection. Because of the long time it takes for cancer to develop, studies suggest that over-exposure early in life may lead to skin cancers later in life.

If you have any suspicious lesions or marks on your body, see Dr. Rose to make sure they are not an early skin cancer.

Be safe and enjoy the outdoors!