Summer’s here, and everyone’s thrilled to finally be enjoying some warmer days in South Jersey and soaking up the sun on the Shore. This means there’s no better time to remind people of the dangers of the ultraviolet rays that give your skin that irresistible sun-kissed look when it’s not properly protected. You can make the most of your fun in the sun with these dermatologist-backed tips.
As much as you can, wear sun-protective clothing when you’re outdoors to protect your skin from DNA-damaging UV rays. While dressing light and in sleeveless shirts is often a necessary way to stay cool, when you know you’re going to be in the sun for a long time, your clothing provides a natural barrier that can keep you safe from burns and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer develops over time, so it’s not like a day at the beach will result in an instant case of melanoma. However, if you burn easily or have had a family history of skin cancer, keep your skin covered as often as possible to protect yourself.
Go Easy On the Tan
Tanning is your body’s natural defense system that’s initiated by sun exposure. People who are passionate about their skin tone looking dark and handsome spend a copious amount of time in the sun and even in artificial UV environments that can be dangerous in the long run. Our dermatologists do not recommend using tanning beds to create your ideal skin color, as the lamps used in many tanning beds are extremely powerful and can cause worse side effects than the same amount of time spent in natural sunlight.
Even though a tan is a natural effect of being in the sun, it’s not a way to prevent getting sun damage and increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Avoid long sunbathing sessions and wear sunscreen as directed. You’ll still have the chance to see the tan and sun-kissed look you want when wearing sunscreen and proper protection while knowing your skin is safer than without protection.
If you want to be outside, get an even tan, and enjoy a sun-soaked day, at least follow our dermatologists’ recommendation to wear sunscreen and reapply constantly to ensure it’s still working to protect your skin. As a rule of thumb, any time you wash off your sunscreen by getting in the water or working up a sweat, you should reapply. Also, since sunscreen can wear off and become ineffective with time, reapply about once every two hours you spend in direct sunlight.
Apply sunscreen to areas around the sleeves or cuffs of the clothes you’re wearing, as these areas are often missed due to the thought that the clothes will be covering them effectively. With movement and different angles, the sun can reach areas you haven’t fully covered, leaving you with truly annoying sunburns and skin damage in areas you may have missed.
See A Board-Certified New Jersey Dermatologist
The final tip for skin cancer protection is to get a regular checkup with a dermatologist, who can use clinical tools to observe and treat any skin issues that arise to make sure you avoid the negative outcomes associated with a lifestyle spent in the sun.
At Heymann, Manders, Green, and Sommer, we want you to enjoy every aspect of your healthy body and the great outdoors. If you’re worried about changes in your skin condition or specific problem areas, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dermatologists. We’ll recommend skincare routines and habits to adopt to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy for as long as possible. Call one of our 3 locations today to get started.