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Are You Heeding the Warnings About Sun Exposure?

photo of mother putting sunscreen on her daughterWhen the sun beckons you to come outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, it’s easy to forget about the dangers of sun exposure to your skin. Scientists and physicians have been warning us for years about the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and damage they can do to our health.

According to the American Cancer Society, UV radiation from the sun can increase your risk of contracting skin cancer. UV rays can age skin cells and damage their DNA material.

Your exposure to UV rays is most dangerous during the hours between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when the rays are stronger.

Types of Skin Cancer

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are usually the direct results of spending too much time in the sun on a beach and in a bathing suit. Living in parts of the world that get a huge amount of sunshine adds to the possibility of getting skin cancer. If you’ve experienced a serious sunburn, your risk for cancer increases.

Melanoma a type of skin cancer, is linked to bathing in the sunshine, performing recreational activities on the water and vacationing in sun-filled areas. Sunburns, liver spots and other marks on the skin are all linked to melanoma.

How to Avoid UV Radiation

It isn’t practical, nor is it healthy, to stay away from the sun all of the time. You need the Vitamin D that the sun provides to keep you healthy, yet too much exposure can cause wrinkles and, more importantly, skin cancer. So what can you do to decrease your risk and heed the warnings about the sun?

You can still enjoy the sun if you avoid staying directly in its rays during the peak UV radiation hours. Instead, if you are outdoors, seek the shade during those times. You can also opt to wear clothes that will cover much of your exposed skin, especially if you need to work outdoors in the sunlight. Wear a hat to guard your scalp, face and neck from the sun. Also, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and their surrounding skin.

Wear sunscreen or sunblock with a high skin-protectant factor (SPF) on any skin that is exposed to the sun. Be sure to reapply the sunscreen after swimming or after a few hours’ time, as you can sweat away some of the lotion.

Don’t forget to get your skin checked regularly by scheduling an annual examination with a dermatologist. Alexander Gross, MD, medical director at the Georgia Dermatology Center in the Atlanta area, is board-certified in both dermatology and internal medicine. He has received many awards and accolades in his field from the American Academy of Dermatology and various other organizations.

Take sun exposure seriously and visit the Georgia Dermatology Center and Medical Spa or get in touch with the staff there if you have any questions about the services offered or about Alexander Gross, MD. The Medical Spa offers services such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and FotoFacials, to name just a few. Whether you live in the Cumming area or in Atlanta, Milton, Alpharetta, Gainesville, Suwanee, Sandy Springs or Roswell, the Georgia Dermatology Center is ready to take care of all your skin needs.

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