Dr. James Bledsoe, a provider of family medicine from Ogden Clinic shares some insight into protecting your skin this summer.
Healthy Summer Skin Questions
Don’t shy away from sunscreen even if you have darker skin:
- Darker skin offers some protection from sun damage but everyone can get a sunburn. Plus darker skin types tend to scar worse than fairer skin people.
- They are prone to hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin that can be permanent.
- Minorities overall have a lower risk for skin cancer but have a higher mortality rate because they don’t get diagnosed until it is advanced.
What to look for in choosing a sunscreen:
For the vast majority of people, SPF 15 is fine. But people who have very fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or conditions like lupus that increase sensitivity to sunlight should consider SPF 30 or higher.
If you are going to be swimming or sweating then you should get sunscreen that is water resistant (stays effective for 40 minutes in the water) or very water resistance (80 minutes).
If you have children then pick a sunscreen that is kid-friendly. These sunscreens avoid PABA and other chemicals that tend to irritate children’s skin.
When to reapply sunscreen:
Apply 20 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating
Just as important is to apply enough sunscreen. Studies show that most people only use about 50% of the sunscreen they need so they are not getting much protection. The average adult needs 6-9 teaspoons to get full coverage. That is about the volume of a shot glass or golfball.
When to perform a routine skin check and what to look for:
- The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you perform a whole body skin check once a month.
- Remember A B C D E: Asymmetry, Border irregularities, Color variation, Diameter > 6 mm, Evolving
- Important to use a mirror to see hard to view places.
The best way to soothe burnt skin:
- Cool down – take a quick dip in the water
- Apply a gentle moisturizing lotion (but not petroleum or oil-based ointments, which may trap the heat and make the burn worse).
- Hydrocortisone 1% cream
- Aloe Very
- Very important to stay hydrated because the burn will pull fluids from the rest of your body
Why you notice age spots:
- Age spots are much more common in women. These are patches with a little more melanin than the surrounding skin. Unfortunately, these spots tend to tan better than the surrounding skin so it amplifies the difference in skin color. The best way to prevent this is to wear sunblock everyday and protect yourself from the sun.
Best ways to protect against bug bites:
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) for protection against mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs.
- Cover exposed skin
- Get rid of any standing water – puddles, water in rain gutters or old tires – where mosquitoes breed.
For more information regarding skin care visit ogdenclinic.com or call 801.479.7771.
This story contains sponsored content.