Today's blog is provided by Adrienne Stewart, MD, board-certified dermatologist in Denver, CO
Here we are in the heat of the summer----which usually means wearing sheerer, lighter clothes, which expose more skin. To protect yourself, apply broad-spectrum sunblock first thing in the morning before you get dressed so that all of your skin is covered. For those of you heading to the beach, nothing beats an SPF swim shirt---they are lightweight and you can wear your swimsuit under it. Various forms of sun protective clothing provide additional protection for outdoor outings. In addition, Sun Guard, made by the RIT Company, is an SPF powder that may be added to your wash to give those lightweight, sheer clothes some extra protective value (good for 20 or so washes).
Wide- brimmed hats are fashionable, glamorous and best of all-- skin savvy and skin saving by protecting scalps, ears, and necks----all areas that are sometimes neglected and forgotten. Our great-grandmothers and grandmothers had the right idea in wearing gloves when they drove. Protecting the frequently -exposed hands is a must, and for my golfing patients, I recommend wearing gloves on both hands, if possible.
Heat also means possible sweating and jumping in the pool. With perspiration and water activities----reapply your sunblock often and do not be stingy with the amount. Remember that sweat-proof, waterproof, and water-resistant sunblocks still require frequent reapplication.
Many people mistakenly think that clouds shield us from the sun----but the fact is, many get some of their worst burns because of this misconception. If there is enough light to see the clouds---the sun is out there somewhere waiting to damage our skin.
Mountains also present a solar exposure challenge. With increases in altitude, the closer you become to the sun, the easier it is to burn. And although it is summer now, the snow factor adds additional glare and damage. And even though it is summer, Arapahoe Basin, a ski resort in Colorado was open on July 4th! Once the heat subsides, and temperatures fall, solar rays can still damage your skin so make sun safety a year-round habit.
My final tip is be prepared to protect your skin in all kinds of weather conditions-----carry a sunblock in your purse and in your glove compartment, wear SPF lip balm, do not forget your sun protective specks and keep a hat in your trunk-----then you will have no excuse…. and your skin will thank you.