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Stay Safe in the Sun

Using a protective sunscreen with an SPF of 50 is your skin’s best defense against damage, however you have to make sure you’re applying it correctly to reap the benefits.

“When it comes to sunscreen you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. The sunscreen needs to go on before you leave your house so that it can soak in to the skin, when you get out of the water you need to reapply immediately as well,” said Dr. Kelly Stankiewicz, a dermatologist at the DuPage Medical Group.

Protective wear such as hats, sunglasses and clothes with SPF can also guard your skin against the threat of skin cancer. Cases caused by unprotected skin are becoming more and more common.

“Skin cancer is on the rise one and five people will have skin cancer in their lifetime and protecting yourself from the sun is the most important thing you can do to prevent skin cancer and then talking more superficially, cosmetically, sun damaged skin is old skin,” Stankiewicz said.

If you do happen to forget sunscreen during a day out and get burned, the damage may already be done but there is a way to relieve the pain.

“You can use wet compress, meaning taking a wash cloth and running it under room temperature water and applying on the skin and allowing it to evaporate and following that with a nice moisturizer or an over the counter Cortazone medication, but its important not to get to that point because sunburn really is skin damage,” Stankiewicz said.

One last tip, Stankiewitcz recommends avoiding the sun during the peak hours of 10 -2 by heading inside.

Naperville News 17’s Natalie Vitale reports.


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