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Dermatologic Disease Awareness and Teledermatology

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Prevent Winter Sun Damage!

We’ve stressed many times in these posts to protect yourself from the sun and make sunscreen a part of your daily routine all year round. Unfortunately many are fooled by the drop in temperature and forget about the sun’s rays which are still lingering. In a recent blogs, we’ve debunked the myth that in the winter time you don’t have to worry about protecting your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. And even in the snow, the sun’s rays are still there. In fact snow can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays, increasing your exposure. But is protecting your skin in the winter all that different than in the summer? Well, while you should stay protected all year long, there are a few different things you should take into consideration.

 

Here are a list of tips to keep in mind to stay protected this winter:

 

1.     Protect your scalp: Not only are hats, beanies, and caps super warm during the winter chill, they make for great scalp protection. Recently in our posts we talked about androgenetic alopecia and UV radiation. UV radiation can be a contributing factor to not only balding, but also skin disorders and even skin damage leading to skin cancer. Your scalp also frequently receives direct sunlight, so the chances of skin cancer are increased. So bundle up not just for keeping warm but also for keeping your scalp damage free!

 

2.     Bundling up can also mean sweat: While making sunscreen a part of your daily routine is important, its also important to remember to reapply, especially when you’ve been sweating. We may associate sweating with the summer but while it may be cold out, your body will still sweat when covered in layers and layers of warm clothes, especially when buildings and homes may have the heat blasting. Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hrs if outside or 30 minutes before you are going outside.

 

3.     Apply, Reapply, Reapply: I don’t know about you but during the winter months my skin becomes very, very dry. One of the great things about sunscreen is that you can double it as your moisturizer. Liberally apply a moisturizing sunscreen every morning and then reapply throughout the day. Use at least SPF 30 and make sure to apply to ALL exposed areas including your face to avoid looking like Rudolf all winter! And don’t just do chemical sunscreens, try physical too. These sunscreens are better at protecting your skin as they deflect and block the suns rays rather than absorb them. They are thicker than your chemical sunscreens but are much better at protecting all year.

 

4.     Lip Balm with SPF: It’s not just my skin that gets dry during the winter, but my lips too! Especially on those frigid windy days! Lips are very sensitive and can be prone to sun damage too. Just because they are a different texture and look than your skin doesn't mean they are immune to UV damage. Kill two birds with one stone and buy a lip balm that also has an SPF of 30 or more. Your lips will thank you later.

 

5.     Sunglasses and Ski Goggles: The skin around your eyes are very thin and are very sensitive. This area is especially prone to sun damage leading to wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer. Do your crow’s feet a favor and not just apply sunscreen there but also wear sunglasses with UV protection. Try to wear sunglasses as soon as your outside and especially when doing outdoor winter activities like skiing or snowboarding. Ski goggles with UV protection not just help you see better when speeding down the mountain, they will also provide great protection for your eyes!

Caitlyn