You already know the importance of wearing sunscreen without me drilling it into you, but that doesn't mean you're putting it everywhere that you should be. I spoke to a dermatologist to find out what you need to know about sun protection. Turns out, there's one place you often forget to wear sunscreen that could lead to skin cancer. I bet when you hear where it is, you'll be totally shocked that it needs SPF. Super scary.
If there is one thing you need to do for yourself this summer, it should absolutely be protecting yourself from the sun. Not only can sun exposure cause pre-mature aging, but it can also lead to skin cancer, so it's not to be taken lightly. But that doesn't mean you have to avoid the sun all summer long, you just need to make sure you're properly protected and limit your direct UV exposure. I spoke with Dr. Perlmutter of the NY Dermatology Group to find out everything you need to know about sun exposure, and I guarantee, even if you think you know the basics of it by now, there's some information you're probably missing.
Here is everything you need to know about sun protection, according to a doctor.
If you tend to go lighter during the year, you want to make sure to up your SPF in the summer when you're most exposed to the sun. "For most of the year, I recommend wearing an SPF of 30 or higher on the face daily, but during the summer, when there is prolonged sun exposure, I always suggest an SPF of 60 or higher for the face and exposed areas of the body. Either way, it is important to apply generously and frequently," Perlmutter says.
2. You Need To Put Sunscreen Everywhere
Think your face, arms, and legs are cutting it? Nope — you need to put sunscreen everywhere. According to Perlmutter, the most forgotten areas are the ears and back of your shoulders.
3. Your Ears Are Super Sensitive
Seriously? Your ears? It's true — your ears need the SPF just as much as your face does. "The ears are just as sensitive as the face and are often neglected, yet due to their exposed location, they are very susceptible to UV exposure," Perlmutter says.
4. You Need To Schedule A Yearly Screening
Even if you think everything is fine, you should be scheduling annual screenings with your dermatologist. Perlmutter says, "Generally, the recommendation is for yearly skin cancer screenings. Although if a person has numerous moles, a family history of melanoma, or a personal history of skin cancer than the recommendation is often altered."
If you think you can skimp out on the sunscreen, don't even try to argue it. "There is scientific evidence that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancers so why not do something to help protect yourself," Perlmutter says.
The moral of the story? Just apply all the sunscreen this summer. You've been warned!
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