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

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…