It’s that time of the year where many of us are tempted to spend a sunny Saturday by the pool, preparing our tan for the many activities that will be coming up. This is an important time to be reminded of the importance of not only using sunscreen, but using the proper type and amount.
It is important to make sure that you use a sunscreen that protects from both UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays are responsible for causing that pesky superficial sunburn, but UVA rays can be associated with long term effects such as leathering, sagging and wrinkling of the skin. Make sure your sunscreen is comprehensive and protects from both kinds.
For most people, an SPF of 15 or higher should be just fine! But you must remember to reapply every two hours. Even the best, priciest sunscreen can’t be expected to provide “all-day” protection. Also, don’t depend on your skin to “tell” you when to reapply. Just because you aren’t reddening or burning, it doesn’t mean that damage isn’t occurring. And if you are planning a day by the beach or pool, consider investing in a water-proof or water-resistant product.
You should apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure to give it time to truly adhere to your skin and start protecting you. Also, remember that even if it is cloudy or overcast outside, you can still experience burning and damage.
Full-body exams to check for suspicious lesions are appropriate yearly for many people. Always point out a changing mole or “spot” to us when you are here for any appointment. We are happy to look! Some lesions may require a visit to a dermatologist, and we will guide you to the appropriate provider if that is necessary.
Have a great summer and remember to apply SPF 15 or higher every two hours!