The warm weather of Summer offers you the opportunity for many fun activities: going hiking, backyard B-B-Qs, and hours cooling off in the pool. But spending hours in the sun and the water can dry your skin out and cause permanent damage from the sun’s radiation. Beating the heat in the water is a great way to spend your time this July, but also it’s important to take steps before, during, and after your time outside to ensure that your skin stays healthy all Summer long!
Keeping your Skin Safe
Before entering the pool or spending time outside, it’s best to wear sun protective clothing, and then evenly apply sunscreen to all areas of skin exposed to the sun, including your hands, face, arms, torso, legs, and feet. It is also important to wear a hat or head covering to protect your scalp when you are not in the water. If you are spending time in the water, we highly encourage you to reapply sunscreen periodically to remain protected throughout the day.
After exiting the pool, you should rinse off the chlorine in a shower to restore the pH balance of your skin. Once you have showered off the pool chemicals, reapply your sunscreen if you still plan on being outside.
Products for keeping your Skin Healthy
When shopping for sunscreens, there are a few details to be aware of when selecting which product to use. It’s important to stay away from spray sunscreens. These sunscreen products may appear easier to apply, but much of the spray will not hit the skin, but rather dissipate into the air, or worse, into your throat. Spray sunscreen products also offer less protection than lotions or creams because they do not spray evenly on your skin. You will receive uneven protection and may end up burning your skin in the areas where it does not cover.
For the most even and effective protection, we encourage you to purchase lotion sunscreen products that you can rub into your skin and better control the application. We also encourage you to read the ingredients and SPF number on the container; any product listed as SPF 30 or above offers the best protection from ultraviolet B radiation, and if in addition, the term “Broad Spectrum” is listed, you know you are getting the best UV protection to prevent skin cancer. Products that include minerals also offer the extra UV protection of zinc oxide or titanium oxide. For darker skin complections, we recommend tinted sunscreens to protect your skin from visible light as well.
We Recommend a Skin Exam!
If you spend a lot of time outside and in the sun, taking stock of how your skin looks and changes are important to maintaining the health of your skin. The best way to assess your skin’s health is with a skin exam. This exam is conducted by a board-certified dermatologist who will thoroughly review your skin, taking note of any moles, patches, or discoloration which may be of concern. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can wear down the skin causing it to lose its vibrancy, and over time, you can develop sun spots and wrinkles. With continued unprotected sun exposure, the sun can cause wrinkles, blotchiness, uneven skin tone, broken red blood vessels, or skin cancer.
During this exam, our board-certified dermatologists look for irregular shapes and colors of growths on your skin that can indicate the presence of skin cancer. While many moles are not concerning, they can sometimes be an indicator of melanoma cancer. For moles that need to be removed, they can be either analyzed with high tech genetic analysis (called DermTech analysis) or biopsied/removed at the Aesthetic and Dermatology Center by Dr. Green, an expert in surgical skin techniques and procedures.
It is our top priority to have an open line of communication with our patients during a skin exam as well as when creating a personalized treatment plan.
For more skincare tips and product recommendations, follow Dr. Green on Instagram: dr.lawrencegreen!