Summertime Skin Care with Rebecca Rose, PA-CThe end of summer is fast approaching, and many of us are likely buying back-to-school supplies. However, summer will continue for a few more weeks into September, which means your skin, the largest and fastest growing organ of our body, will continue to be exposed to problems posed by warmer weather. Our dermatology specialist, Rebecca Rose, PA-C, has some skin care tips for preventing sun damage.
Sun ExposureSunburn, skin cancer and the fine wrinkles of premature aging are major problems due to over exposure to the sun. Although some dermatology information guides recommend wearing sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, Rebecca recommends wearing an SPF 30 sunscreen to protect against general sun exposure, and an SPF 50 sunscreen for the major sun exposure – the type faced by beachgoers and outdoor workers. Apply the sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, including toes and ears. If possible, try to stay inside between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. This is the time when the sun is highest in the sky and when people are at the greatest risk for overexposure. Eyes are at risk for sun damage such as pinguecula and pterygium (also known as surfers eye or farmers eye). According to the American Academy of Opthamology, these are growths on the cornea or the conjunctiva. They are non-cancerous, but may need to be removed surgically. Avoid these conditions by wearing sunglasses.
Other Skin Care Tips for Fun in the SunHere are several other tips for preparing to be outdoors in the sun:
- See your physician or dermatologist for annual skin checks.
- Lips are at risk as well for sun burn. The best preventive measure is to apply an SPF 15 or 30 lip balm.
- Remember to re-apply sunscreen after swimming and exercise, both of which wear away sunscreen. Wait a few minutes for the sunscreen to dry before returning to swim or exercise.
- People with thinning hair should wear a hat to protect the scalp.
- Stay hydrated! Drink water or drink a sports beverage with electrolytes in order to maintain your skins moisture.
- If you do become sunburned, apply aloe vera, which can be found in any pharmacy.