The approach of warmer months means barbecues, beach parties, and more time lounging in the sun. But before you head out to sunbathe, remember to wear sunblock to prevent skin cancer and other skin issues.
To help you learn more, skin care expert Louis Luke Barich, MD, from Hamilton, OH, explores five reasons you should always wear sunblock:
1. Prevent Skin Cancer
Nearly all cases of melanoma are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. However, wearing sunblock can reduce the development of melanoma by 50 to 73%. For skin cancer prevention, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and reapply every two hours or after swimming.
2. Prevent Premature Aging
Most premature aging on the skin is due to sun exposure, but with regular sunblock use, you can slow down the development of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Wear sunscreen on your face, neck, and any other exposed area. The sun’s UV rays are most intense around 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., so reapply as needed if you plan on being outside during this time.
3. Decrease Skin Discoloration
Ultraviolet rays from the sun change the DNA of your skin cells, which is why sun exposure can be so damaging. Along with premature aging and skin cancer, sun exposure can cause discoloration such as brown spots on the skin, which may require skin care treatments to resolve. Luckily, regularly wearing sunblock can help stop the development of further discolorations, and will allow your skin to regain an even tone.
4. Reduce Appearance of Blotches & Veins
UV overexposure can cause redness of the facial veins and a blotchy skin tone. These issues typically develop on areas that receive a lot of exposure, including the nose, cheeks, lips, and the sensitive skin surrounding the eyes. There are treatments to help resolve skin conditions such as red veins and blotchiness, but it’s best to prevent them in the first place by regularly wearing sunscreen.
5. Reduce Sun Sensitivity From Medications
Many people don’t realize that their medications can make them more sensitive to sun exposure. Medications that increase sun sensitivity include acne, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular medicine. Topical skin products like benzoyl peroxide, RETIN-A (tretinoin), alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids also increase sun sensitivity. While sunblock won’t eliminate your sensitivity, it can drastically reduce your chances of sustaining a sunburn or other damage.
If you’re ready to take control of your skin health, contact Louis Luke Barich, MD, in Hamilton, OH. Whether you have skin cancer concerns or just skin care treatments to improve your appearance, his dermatology practice offers the most advanced skin care options available. Visit his website for more information, or call (513) 863-3555 to discuss your dermatology needs.