Summer is swiftly approaching and with the promise of sun-filled beach days and barbecues comes a renewed need to protect our skin. Currently, 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. In warmer climates such as Orange County, the incidence is likely even higher. In addition, ultraviolet (UV) rays can prematurely age your skin causing wrinkles, skin laxity, and age spots. Remember, there is no safe way to tan. A tan is the body's response to injury from UV rays. Every time you tan, you damage your skin. If you want to look more sun-kissed, try a self-tanning product, but remember to use sunscreen with it.

How to Protect Your Skin

Bella Cara Dermatology recommends that everyone:

  • Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. "Broad-spectrum" provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
  • Use extra caution near water and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Indoor tanning increases the risk of skin cancer. The FDA has recently approved stricter regulations for indoor tanning devices and strongly recommends against tanning bed use by minors under the age of 18.