5 Tips to Shade Yourself from Sun Damage

SunDamage

This originally appeared on LiveWellNewYork.com

Summer may be drawing to an end, but protecting yourself sun damage is important all year round. Now is the perfect time to brush up on your sun protection knowledge. Before you learn how to protect yourself, you need to know what you’re up against.

How does the sun damage skin?
UV radiation is responsible for skin damage. Short wavelength radiation (UVB rays) and long wavelength radiation (UVA rays) both stimulate the body to produce melanin, giving skin that bronzed glow. The fact is, a suntan is really the body’s attempt to protect itself from further damage. “Remember: There is no such thing as a safe tan,” says Vincent A. DeLeo, MD, Chairman, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals and Beth Israel Medical Center.

UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and damage connective tissue and blood vessels. “UVA and UVB rays damage the DNA of our skin’s cells, leading to premature aging and an increased risk for skin cancer,” Dr. DeLeo says.

The good news is, there are several ways you can protect your skin from damaging UV rays. Dr. DeLeo offers these tips:

1. Avoid peak sun hours.
Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are most intense – even when it’s overcast. The sun can be just as damaging, even if you can’t see it through the clouds. “People with a family history of skin cancer or fair skin should take extra precaution since they’re more prone to skin damage,” Dr. DeLeo says.
2. Apply (and reapply) sunscreen.
Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher will protect against UVA and UVB rays. Apply one to two ounces of sunscreen over your entire body, including areas you might overlook like your ears, nose and neck, at least 30 minutes prior to exposure.
3. Review your medications.
Certain medications and over-the-counter drugs cause skin hypersensitivity to sunlight, including antibiotics; diuretics; certain cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes medications; and immune suppressing medications. Take extra precaution in the sun if you take these.
4. Go faux.
If you can’t give up that bronzed look, get a sunless tan. “Spray tans are wonderful; they make you look tan and they cause no damage like tanning beds do,” Dr. DeLeo says. Bronzers and self-tanners can provide head-to-toe color without harming the skin. Today’s formulas include sprays, lotions, foams and creams, and can be found in your local drug store. Whatever method you choose, stay away from tanning beds – they can triple the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
5. Know the signs of skin cancer.
Examine your skin each month for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, or bumps. Knowing the ABCDEs of skin cancer will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease in its early stages, when it’s most treatable. Learn how to perform a self-skin exam here. If you notice anything abnormal, call your physician or dermatologist to schedule a thorough screening.

Get more advice on preventing sun damage and skin cancer when you make an appointment with a dermatologist. Find one near you by visiting chpnyc.org or calling 1-855-411-LWNY (5969).

Information provided by Vincent A. DeLeo, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Founding Director of the Skin of Color Center


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.