GREENWICH, Conn. -- Now that summer is "unofficially" here, Debbie Palmer, M.D., a board certified dermatologist and Greenwich resident advises folks to be aware of the dangers of the sun.
"There are different types of ultraviolet (UV) rays to be aware of including UVA rays, UVB rays, and UVC rays," she said. "All are invisible to the human eye—and all UV radiation can damage the skin’s cellular DNA triggering genetic mutations, which can then cause cancer."
Below are Dr. Palmer's tips for protecting yourself from the sun’s UV rays.
- Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, whenever you’re outdoors, no matter what time of day it is.
- Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. , this is when UVB’s burning rays are most prevalent.
- Never use a tanning bed . People who use tanning beds are two and a half times more likely to develop a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, and one and a half times more likely to develop a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. In fact, according to researchers, when teens use tanning beds, they increase their risk of melanoma (the deadliest kind of skin cancer) by an incredible 75 percent.
- Consider adding UV-protective film to your car's side and rear windows (many front windshields typically have it already) as well as to house and business windows, to block up to 99.9 percent of UVA radiation.
- Know that clothing is UV-protective. Thicker shirts have more SPF than thinner ones, and darker colors give you more SPF protection than lighter colors. Clothing labeled UPF is also specifically protective against the sun’s rays.
- Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, of an SPF of 30 or greater, whenever you’re outside and remember to reapply every two hours. I also recommend to patients to apply an antioxidant lotion under their sunscreen for additional free radical protection. My favorite is Replere Protect & Rejuvenate Day Lotion, found on www.replere.com/ .