After a seemingly endless series of winter storms and cold weathers, spring has finally sprung! Say goodbye to frigid daytime temps and hello to the gentle warmth that comes with the season of rebirth. As you’re getting ready to spend more time outside, it’s important to keep in mind that while it may not be blazing hot outside, harmful UV rays can still cause damage to your skin.
The Consequences of Sun Damage
Sun damage is an inevitable part of life and spending time outdoors. Some of us often look forward to developing an enviable golden tan only achievable after long hours outside. While sunburns may seem harmless or merely inconvenient, they are in fact real-time signs of the damage sun exposure it doing to your skin.
Years of sun damage can also accelerate the pace of aging by breaking down key components of your skin cells such as the collagen and elastin. These important proteins are what give your skin its youthful volume and smooth, firm texture. When over-exposed to the sun, they and the factors that help produce them break down and are slow to repair. Combined with already slowing production that comes from getting older, spending tons of time in the sun without proper protection can leave skin looking weathered and patients looking older than they really are.
More importantly, extended time in the sun without protecting your skin leaves patients much more susceptible to skin cancer. According to one estimate from the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., with more patients being diagnosed annually than all other cancers combined. However, this cancer is also among the easiest to prevent, simply by adding a few extra steps to your routine before heading outside to enjoy beautiful weather.
How Do I Keep My Skin Healthy and Beautiful?
The secret to youthful looks isn’t a mythical fountain. Great looking skin occurs when you develop and maintain a good skin care routine year-round. Here are our tips for preventing sun damage and protecting your skin as you head outdoors:
Be Smart About Sun Exposure
With beautifully mild weather right around the corner, we’re certainly not saying avoid the sun at all costs. Instead, spend your time outside when the UV is not their strongest (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). If you’re planning on attending an all day outdoor event, stick to the shade and pack a hat, sunglasses, and clothing to protect yourself.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll probably hear it again – one layer of sunscreen isn’t enough for a full day outside. If you’re planning on heading to the park or on a nature hike, pack a sunscreen that has both broad-spectrum protection and sun protection factor (SPF) that’s 30 or higher. Be sure to reapply at least every couple hours or every hour if you’re sweating heavily or in the water.
Visit your dermatologist regularly
Moles and sunburns can increase your risk of developing malignant skin cells. Checking yourself at home for unevenly shaped moles and visiting your dermatologist at least once a year can help identify potentially cancerous cells early on.
Spring Forward with Sun Protection!
Spring weather is a beautiful time of year – don’t let sun damage compromise your skin and looks. In New York, our dermatologists specialize in creating custom treatment plans that help patients enjoy beautiful looking skin year-round. Learn more about available treatments by scheduling your consultation at Abadir Associates today!