Though we received a favorable prediction on Groundhog Day this year, many of us still question the reliability of that large rodent. As winter drags on, a number of our patients seek warmer places to visit. For this reason, we wanted to give you some quick Sun Tips for Winter Travelers with the anticipated sun exposure. It is easy to be complacent with our cabin fever so that we can quickly get too much sun and even sunburn on a winter getaway vacation.
Smart Sun Tips for Winter Travelers
Remember what the stakes are:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning beds causes sunburns
- premature aging of the skin
- it is also proved to cause skin cancer including melanoma
So for those of you planning to travel, please thoroughly consider and implement these pointers:
Wear it and wear it well. For outdoor exposure of more than 15 minutes, we recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher. A good general brand is Neutrogena though there are many other brands available, and we have some that we retail here at the office that is especially directed for facial usage and those who prefer the more elegant, less greasy sunscreens that are easier to apply. These specialty sunscreens include those made by Colorscience and SkinMedica. Remember to put on one coat 20 minutes before you go out, and then one more coat just as you are heading outside. You should reapply sunscreen every two hours. Do not use expired sunscreen. It has active ingredients that can break down and no longer work to protect you.
Consider wearing sun-protective clothing. This includes long sleeves and tighter weaves. There are also some companies including Coolibar (www.coolibar.com) that specifically make clothing that has a greater sun protection factor. Consider also wearing a broad brim hat.
Seek the shade. Try to be under a cabana or pool umbrella. A golf cart with a top helps out the golfers. When walking on the beach consider walking with an umbrella. These measures certainly need to be used in conjunction with all of the other measures to prevent injury from sunlight because ultraviolet light is reflective. Up to 80% of it may bounce off the sand or water back up at you.
Know your limits. Especially try to minimize the overall amount of time when outdoors during peak daylight hours from 10 AM until around 6 PM depending on the climate.
Be wary of certain things that can make you even more sunlight sensitive. Certainly, just by the nature of our fair complexion, we can be more sensitive. The fairer someone is, with lighter hair color and lighter skin, the more likely they generally are to sunburn. Certain medications including a number of medicines to treat blood pressure and also antibiotics can make you more sunlight sensitive. It’s worth making special note of lime juice. Limes are a favorite addition to tropical beverages, and when directly in contact with the skin can trigger an unusual version of easy sunburning and sunlight sensitivity known as phytophotodermatitis. It may sound very strange, but be wary because the problem can leave darkened areas in the skin that take a very long time to fade away.
DON’T FORGET THE KIDS
Remember that your children tend to be much less cautious when it comes to the sun. So please be extra vigilant in supervising them about practicing sun safety measures. Hopefully, in time they will learn habits that they can pass along to the future generations of your family.
Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands | Best Dermatologist Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA | Board Certified Dermatologists
Despite the rate of melanoma continuing to be on the rise, in recent years we have seen a drop in the rate of melanoma in younger individuals between the ages of 16-29. Much of this is thought to be due to the changing behaviors of these individuals with them using more caution with ultraviolet light exposure. Let’s keep it going!
No matter what you do this winter, we hope that you can find a warm place to be even if that is inside your home right here in the Midwest. We hope that you are safe irrespective of your destination. If you’re going to be in the sunlight, please follow these tips. If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us to schedule a consultation. in any of our clinics in Omaha, Council Bluffs or the surrounding communities.
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