Although it may not feel like it, spring is almost here. There are some important steps that can be taken to prepare your skin for the transition from the harsh weather of winter.
First: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. Even 10 minutes of direct sunlight can lead to a sunburn. Most people do not plan to get sunburned. It happens most often from inadequate sunscreen or exposure to more sun than anticipated. With spring comes more sunlight from longer daylight and warmer weather, which means we spend more time outside. The key is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every morning as part of your daily regimen.I tell patients that it should be like brushing your teeth.
When you are going to be in direct sunlight, for example, at a park, jogging or doing any activity to enjoy the spring weather, wear a hat in addition to wearing sunscreen. The times of day when you are most susceptible to bright, direct sunlight are between the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you have already gotten too much sun exposure in your younger days, all hope is not lost.Having a good skin check can go a long way to preventing worry. Skin cancer is also much more common as we age. Although the majority of the lesions that patients are concerned about tend to be normal, an area that is bleeding, burning, itching or non-healing may be a particular cause for concern. Also, what sometimes looks like a normal sun spot may require a dermatologist’s attention. Establishing a relationship with a dermatologist can provide medical care, as well as comfort and preventative ease of mind to you and your family.