Skin Cancer Awareness: Five Ways to Protect Your Skin this Summer

Summer brings sunshine but unless you are careful, its effects can cause severe skin damage.

Know the risks before they appear on your skin! Too much sunlight can cause brown or red spots, scaly spots, dryness, and wrinkles. Worse yet though, is the risk of skin cancer which is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but also one of the most preventable.

To help prevent sun damage, our resident expert and Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Greg Weiner provides five tips for keeping skin at its healthiest:

Watch the Time! The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so make sure you are covered and take extra precautions by limiting your exposure during these hours.

Always Apply Sunscreen. Sounds obvious, but people still don't do it! Apply (UVA/UVB) sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before you head outside and remember to protect sensitive spots like the tops of ears, the hairline, the "V" on the chest, and your nose and hands.

Why? "These places are most vulnerable because 80% of skin cancer occurs on the head, neck, and hands," Dr. Weiner told us. "When choosing a sunscreen this summer you may also want to go with a product that is well-known for their skincare like Shiseido, where you can also buy a daily moisturizer with SPF 15."

Wear Protective Clothing. You can still be stylish and keep skin safe. Choose broad-brimmed hats and clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protected Factor) which enhances your protection from UV rays at different levels, ranging from 15 (good) to 50+ (excellent).

Also keep your eyes and surrounding skin safe by wearing sunglasses that have 99-100% UV absorption.

Avoid Reflected Light. "Be careful when you are near water and sand because these surfaces reflect the sun's rays and pose a high risk for sunburn," Dr. Weiner warned.

Light Laser Peels. If you have gotten a little too much sun over time and need some help rejuvenating your skin, light laser peels may help.

"These "micropeels" strip off the top layer of skin containing much of the damage," the expert explained. "Peeling and redness last 2-3 days, and this peel can be done every 2-3 months to really combat the dark spots and fine wrinkles."

Have you been keeping these tips in mind so far this summer? Be honest and tell us with a note below!

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