Skip to main content

See also:

I don't believe in sunscreen.

Safe in the sun
Lois Trader

The new season of NY Med started and one of the new patients came in with third degree burns on her legs after spending hours on a surf board on her vacation. She told the nurse and doctor that she didn't believe in sunscreen. I didn't know if was something you had to believe in, but thought more it was just safe practice when in the sun.

Save Your Skin: Tips to Remember This Summer

As summer creeps closer and closer, you will be spending more time outdoors, and after a rough winter, you’ve earned it! Just be sure to lather on the sunscreen, dermatologists say there’s no such thing as ‘safe’ tanning.

The rule for sunscreen is simple, use it. It’s not just for days on the beach during your vacation; sun damage happens any time that your skin is exposed to the sun. Make sure that you not only use enough sunscreen, but that you apply it anywhere that the sun will touch your skin.

Using Incorrect Amount of Sunscreen Can Harm You

Using at least a tablespoon amount of sunblock is recommended – enough to cover up and soak into your skin. If you use less and try to spread it too thin, you can cut the SPF value in half.

Experts also recommend that you reapply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors. However, if you are swimming, wiping it off or sweating it should be applied more often in order for your skin to be completely protected.

When you are choosing which sunscreen to buy at the store, check the labels. Make sure that it protects against UVA and UVB rays, which cause the skin to age and burn. The minimum SPF that should be used is 30.

No Such Thing as Safe Tanning

Bad news for tanners, dermatologists say there is no safe tanning, even if you use a sunscreen with a high SPF value. The brown color in your skin is actually melanin shielding injured DNA in your skin cells.

If you need your daily dose of Vitamin D, lay out in the early morning or late afternoon when sun rays aren’t as damaging. When you are outside wear protective clothing, hats and be sure to stay hydrated.

Dangers of Sun Damage to the Skin

Spending too much time in the Sun without sunscreen raises your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet rays is the main cause of damaging effects on the sun. These rays damage the DNA of skin cells, and skin cancer begins when this damage affects the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth. It is recommended that everyone visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer screening, and if you have had melanoma in the past the visits should be every six months.

Summer activities also add stress to your skin with chlorine, salt, wind, sand and insect repellant. All of these dry out your skin, so also invest time in a