What should I do to protect my skin this spring?
It’s the time of year again where many people enjoy more time outdoors pursuing their favorite activities—boating, golf, and biking to name a few. One of my favorite sports is running. Regular exercise contributes greatly to my sense of well-being and also positively impacts my physical health. However, sun protection should not be overlooked.
Sunburns, as well as chronic sun damage, greatly increase the risk of skin cancer in addition to aging the skin. To prevent damage, try to avoid or limit outdoor activities during peak sun exposure times, even if it is cloudy. A good rule of thumb is that peak sun exposure occurs when your shadow is shorter than you. This can be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun protective clothing—hats, sunglasses and specialty clothing with high UPF (ultraviolet protection factor)—are a great second line of defense. Outdoor sports retailers usually carry a selection of sun protective gear. Your last line of protection is sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher with UVA protection. Remember to reapply every few hours.
Keith Schumann, M.D.