Sun Safety

After a long, cold Winter the Spring warm up may have you day dreaming about days at the pool.

While you may not be hitting the beach anytime soon, it is still vital to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

“The sun is composed of UVA and UVB radiation and we know those radiation waves increase the chances of skin cancer and increase the signs of premature aging like wrinkles and sun spots,” said Dr. Shruthi Reddy, a Dermatologist at DuPage Medical Group.

The easiest form of protection? Sunscreen, Reddy suggests using one with at least a sun protection factor of 15 during the spring – then as it heats up, increase your protection to s.p.f. 30.

“We do recommend sunscreen and sun protection when you are out in the sun. Hats, sun protective clothing are also options. Also avoiding the sun in the peak sun hours from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. The UVA rays can harm your eyes as well so sunglasses are a must,” she said.

A common misconception is that a base burn can lead to safe color later in the season but Reddy says there is no such thing.

“Any tanning does effect the skin, and does effect the cells that could increase your risk of skin cancer. So having a base tan offers no protection against the rays of the sun,” said Reddy.

She also recommends self checks of your skin once a month, and if you notice any spots that could be cause for concern, remember your abc’s.

“A is for asymmetry, if it looks the same on one side and another, if the boarders are changing and if the color is changing or growing these are all signs you need to come in and get that spot checked,” said Reddy.

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