Category

Experts Say

Experts Say Live Wisely

How to Prevent Sunburn at the Beach

how to prevent sunburn cover image

Avoiding sunburn may seem like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Even during the hot summer months, when your sun exposure level is high, you can take steps to ensure you are protected. 

How long does it take to get sunburned? Can you get sunburned through a window or water? These are important questions to know the answers to so that you can avoid sunburn in the future.

Sunburn is caused by harmful UVB rays from the sun. This type of light ray causes more damage than just sunburn and skin aging. It is often linked to skin cancers. When we talk about how to protect your skin from the sun, we are not only considering how to avoid sunburn but also how to limit your risk of developing skin cancer. 

Sunburn prevention is an important topic for people of all ages. Explore our blog for more sun safe tips and advice so that you can avoid getting sunburned again.

image of a person with sunburn

Is Sunburn Dangerous?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get a sunburn, it depends on factors such as your skin type and the UV index. Sometimes it can occur in 15 minutes of exposure or less. So, how bad is sunburn for you? 

Sunburns cause more than just the visible damage you see to your skin. The UVB rays are responsible for sunburns that are more intense, causing damage to the actual DNA in your skin cells. Over time, this damage at the cellular level can lead to skin cancer. 

Can you get skin cancer from one sunburn? The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Any length of sun exposure could be causing damage, even if you don’t actually burn from it. Consistent over-exposure to the sun, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

can you go outside with sunburn

Is It Bad to Go Outside With a Sunburn?

If you have a sunburn, one of the worst things you can do for your skin is going back out into the sun. Skin that is burned or recently healed from sunburn is extremely sensitive, so it’s best to stay inside. If you can’t avoid the outdoors entirely, there are some safety precautions you can take. 

Drink plenty of water and avoid excess activity, as sweating does make a sunburn worse by irritating the skin that is trying to heal. You can stop a sunburn from burning by applying a sunburn moisturizer with aloe vera or taking a cold shower. 

Wearing UPF clothing and applying sunscreen on sunburn can help minimize further damage. It’s important to note that sunscreen only protects against sunburn if used correctly. Keep the following best practices for sunscreen use in mind:

  • Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 (50+ is preferred)
  • Apply enough sunscreen to cover your body (roughly 1 ounce)
  • Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes at the minimum and every 40 minutes if swimming or sweating
  • Avoid using expired sunscreens
how to avoid sunburn

How to NOT Get Sunburn at the Beach: 6 Simple Solutions

Figuring out how to not get tan or sunburned at the beach may seem like an impossible task, but you can be prepared and protected with the following steps. 

Sun Protective Clothing

You may not realize that you can get sunburn through your clothing. One of the easiest ways to avoid getting tanned and sunburned is to start integrating sun protective clothing into your wardrobe. This option is great for the whole family, whether you’re spending the day at the beach or needing daily sun protection.

Coolibar’s UPF 50+ clothing incorporates sun protection into each and every fiber, and it never washes out. You can rest assured knowing that all of our clothing and accessories provide a minimum UPF rating of 50. We offer sun-safe solutions for men, women, and even kids & babies! Sun protective clothing is easy to use and gives you the peace of mind you need, with many benefits, including:

  • Sun protecting minerals embedded in every fiber
  • Tight weave construction offers maximum sunlight blockage (UPF 50+)
  • Permanent sun protection (no washing or wearing out)

Apply Sunscreen Often (and Thoroughly)

Applying sunscreen is another relatively easy and effective method for preventing sunburn, but only if used correctly. When buying sunscreen, look for one with at least SPF 30, and be sure to apply enough to cover your entire body. Sunscreens must be reapplied every 80 minutes. If you are actively swimming or sweating, you should aim to reapply every 40 minutes. 

Sunscreen is one of the most common methods for preventing sunburn, and for good reason. It can be used for the entire family and has advantages, such as:

  • Solution for exposed skin
  • Prevents sunburn and other skin damage
  • Easy to apply and readily available

Create Your Own Shade

Although you can get sunburn in the shade from light reflecting off other surfaces, it’s better than direct sun. Creating a shaded spot can also give you relief from the heat. If staying in the shade is possible, it’s an excellent solution for minimizing sun exposure. Coolibar makes it easy with sun umbrellas you can take with you on the go.

  • No direct UV radiation
  • Lowers risk of sun damage and sunburn
  • Easy solution

Know When the Sun is Strongest

Understanding when the sun is the strongest and what sun hours to avoid can make a big difference. The sun’s UV radiation is usually at its peak between 10 am and 4 pm. If possible, staying indoors during this time frame is a simple solution. 

  • Eliminate possibility of sunburns
  • Decrease risk of developing skin cancer
  • One way to prevent tanning of the skin 

Wear a Hat That Protects Your Neck

Shielding susceptible areas from the sun’s harmful rays is another simple way to stay safe when you want to be outdoors. The face and neck are sensitive areas that a hat can cover perfectly. 

Even on a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays still break through, so wearing a hat will minimize UV exposure and skin damage. Coolibar offers a wide variety of sun hats with UPF 50+ protection so you can feel confident and protected from the sun.

  • Keeps your head and neck cool
  • No mess and easy to incorporate into your day
  • Range of style offerings for everyone

Wear Sunglasses With UV Protection

Your eyes are another critical area to protect from the sun, not only because the skin around your eyes is particularly thin and sensitive, but because UV damage in your eyes can affect your vision. Prolonged exposure to UV rays has been shown to increase the likelihood of developing vision issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration. When looking for sunglasses, check for 100% UVA/UVB protection.

  • Provide comfort from the bright sun for your eyes
  • Minimize UV damage to your eyes and vision issues
  • Simple sun-safe solution
can you get sunburned under water

Sunburn Prevention FAQs

Those are some simple solutions to reducing sun exposure and avoiding sunburns. Here are some commonly asked questions about sunburn prevention.

Can You Get a Sunburn Underwater?

Although water does partially block UV rays, most of those rays do travel below the water’s surface and can cause sunburn to your skin. Water is also an excellent reflector of light, so while you are swimming, you are likely getting more intense sun exposure than you would out of the water. 

Can You Get Sunburned in the Shade?

Sticking to the shade will significantly reduce sun exposure, but it depends on the quality of the shade. Due to light reflection from other nearby surfaces, it’s still possible to get a sunburn in the shade with long enough exposure. 

Should You Wear Sunscreen Even If You Don’t Burn?

Sunscreen doesn’t just prevent sunburn. It also deters the other damaging effects the sun can have on the skin. Wearing sunscreen will minimize the risk of developing skin cancer and slow skin aging, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen, even if you don’t burn. 

avoid sunburn

Shop Coolibar’s Sun Protection Solutions

The sun can cause severe damage to one of our body’s most vital organs, our skin. Learning how to prevent sun damage is key to a long and healthy life. 

Living sun-safely is important. That’s why we developed the most technical, elegant sun protection you wear so that you can enjoy life under the sun. Check out our blog for more sun safety tips, and shop our latest styles for men, women, and kids & babies.

No Comments
Experts Say

Can You Get Sunburned Through Clothing? The Definitive Answer

Have you ever wondered if you can get sunburned through clothing? The answer comes down to a number of factors surrounding the type of fabric the clothing is made out of and the properties of that fabric. Not all clothing is treated equally.

For extended periods of time in the sun, it’s important to wear SPF on any skin exposed to the elements and consider the type of clothing you are wearing. There’s a misconception that you don’t get sunburned through clothing. 

Can You Get Sunburn Through Clothing?

So, can you get sunburned through clothes? The answer comes down to whether your clothes allow light to pass through. At a glance, your clothing may look like a physical barrier against the sun’s rays, but it really depends on the type of fabric you are wearing. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you can see light through your clothing, then sunlight can get through and cause sunburn. Below are some factors that determine the amount of sun protection your clothing offers.

  • Fabric type: synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon can reflect the sun’s radiation due to their sheen. 
  • Weight: the density of thicker materials reduces the ability of the UV light to pass through.
  • Weave: fabrics with a tighter weave have a better physical block to the sun compared to fabrics with a lighter weave.
  • Color: darker or brighter colors soak up more of the UV rays than lighter colors, allowing less sunlight to pass through to your skin.

The Solution: Clothes That Protect From the Sun

Clothes that protect from the sun are a great solution when it comes to avoiding skin damage and keeping cool. When searching for clothes to wear in the sun, you will likely notice UPF ratings. UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor. It’s a rating system used for sun protective clothing, telling us how much of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays actually pass through. 

What SPF does clothing provide? Non-UPF clothing has an average UPF of only 5 to 10, and that number lowers to a UPF of roughly 3 when that clothing gets wet. At Coolibar, we set the standard with all of our clothing, hats, and accessories rating at a UPF 50+. This means that less than 1/50th of the sun’s rays will be allowed through the fabric. Our fabrics are guaranteed to block 98% of UVA/UVB rays, so you can live sun-safely in sun protection you wear. 

Does UPF Clothing Really Work?

How does UPF clothing work, exactly? Coolibar’s proprietary fabrics achieve sun protection starting at the most basic level: each tiny fiber.

  • Zinc Oxide: a main ingredient in sunscreen; this is permanently embedded into every fiber.
  • Titanium Dioxide: another mineral found in sunscreen and permanently embedded into every fiber, so it never washes or wears out.
  • Construction: a tight weave for maximum sunlight blockage.
Tip: Long Sleeves Are Actually Cooler

It may seem counterintuitive, but long sleeves are actually cooler in the sun. Long sleeves have a secret advantage on especially hot days. Particularly long sleeve shirts that are looser fitting on the body and have sweat wicking properties. This is true even for shirts that block the sun with a high UPF.

One reason behind this has to do with our sweat. Sweat is a natural bodily cooling mechanism, and long sleeves in a sweat-wicking fabric keep your skin drier than a short sleeve shirt. Long sleeves provide airflow between the fabric and your skin, almost like a wind tunnel keeping you even cooler. Additionally, the fabric on the sleeve provides a bit of shade to your skin that short sleeves do not. 

Clothing and Sun Protection FAQs

There are many misconceptions out there surrounding clothing and SPF protection. Since you can get a sunburn through clothes, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the best protection methods. A combination of UPF clothing and sunscreen will safeguard you from sun damage. Here are some commonly asked questions surrounding clothing and sun protection.

Can UV Rays Go Through Clothes and Damage Skin?

UV light can go through clothes and cause damage to your skin, including sunburn. The best clothes to wear in the sun are those with a high sun protection rating. UPF shirts do work and will help prevent skin damage.

Can You Absorb Vitamin D Through Clothes?

If sun rays can go through clothes, vitamin D can be absorbed through them as well. There is a limit when it comes to a healthy amount of vitamin D, so protect yourself with proper UPF clothing and sunscreen. 

Does Denim Block UV Rays?

Due to the fabric qualities of denim, it provides more sun protection than other materials. The general thickness of denim helps to block UV rays, as well as its tight weave construction and generally darker color.

Does Linen Provide Sun Protection?

On the other end of the spectrum, linen does not provide much sun protection due to the nature of the fabric. The weave is much looser, and the overall weight of the fabric means that there is not much blockage from the sun. 

Explore More Sun Safety Tips in Coolibar’s Blog

Taking sun protection seriously means wearing sunscreen and incorporating UPF clothing into your wardrobe. Coolibar is the world leader in UPF 50+ fabric technology, so you can feel confident that your skin is protected. 

Living sun-safely is important. That’s why we developed the most technical, elegant sun protection you wear, so you can enjoy life under the sun. Check out our blog for more sun safety tips, and shop our latest styles for men, women, and kids & babies.

5 Comments
Experts Say

Protecting My Family and Community From Skin Cancer

By: Dr. Chris G. Adigun, MD, FAAD

Educating people about skin cancer and skin cancer prevention is something I’m extremely passionate about. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. This is a frightening statistic, but the good news is that 99 percent of all cases are curable if they are diagnosed and treated early enough. This is where education and screening can really make a difference.

Increasing public awareness of these life-altering statistics and providing education about skin cancer prevention through lifestyle changes can positively impact people’s skin health and overall well-being. Partnering with organizations like the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology’s SPOT me® Skin Cancer Screenings to offer free skin checks is one way for me to make a positive impact on public health.

Another way I try to make a difference in lowering future statistics is by encouraging people to instill sun safety habits in their children. Sun damage in childhood is one of the most significant causes of skin cancer in adults.  Having five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Here are some sun safety tips I use with my own children:

  • Keep the sunscreen right next to the toothpaste. Make it part of their daily routine!
  • Utilize a mineral powder sunscreen for easy-to-use application
  • Wear shirts, hats, and other clothing with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) 50+ label for built-in sun protection during outside activities
  • Incorporate fun UPF 50+ umbrellas or tents during sporting events

As a busy dermatologist and working mother of four young children, I realize how challenging it can be to make sure your children are protected, especially when you are not with them. This is why I feel so strongly about developing sun safety behaviors in children. A sunburn does not have to be a rite of childhood! Building healthy habits early when children are more receptive can lead to increased sun protection into adulthood.

No Comments
Experts Say

What’s the Difference Between SPF and UPF?

Did you know there’s a difference between SPF and UPF? Both have something to do with keeping your skin protected from the sun but mean very different things. Sunlight includes rays of invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation; overexposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn, accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. Sun protective clothing and sunscreen offer your main forms of UV protection but are rated two different ways with SPF and UPF.

UPF is the standard used to measure the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics. UPF stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor” and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. UPF is associated with fabric and you will see a UPF rating from 15-50 associated with products that claim that they are sun protective. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through. This also means that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays while SPF only takes the UVB rays into account.

SPF is a standard used to measure the effectiveness of sunscreen. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. Remember that SPF only accounts for UVB rays unless specifically stated as a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Here is a visual breakdown of the two compared to each other.

As you can see when you are trying to keep your skin protected it is important to know the different rating systems. Many skin-care experts believe clothing shields skin more effectively from UV light than sunscreen. Many of us often apply sunscreen lotions too thinly, giving our skin less protection than the sunscreen’s available SPF rating, and we neglect to reapply it as directed by the specific sunscreen that we use.

To receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, sun-protective fabrics must have a minimum UPF of 30. They consider a UPF rating of 30-49 to offer very good protection and 50+ excellent protection. Coolibar was the first clothing brand to receive the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. All of our clothing is rated UPF 50+, with protection that will never wash out.

1 Comment
Experts Say

All T-Shirts Are Not Created Equal

A cotton tee may not safeguard us at the beach, let alone on the street. Dry, a white cotton shirt provides and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7*, and wet from the pool, the protection level drops to about UPF 3, exposing us to UV radiation.

Today, 90% of skin cancers and premature aging are a result of UV exposure. As skin cancer rates are on the rise, this is one easy way to keep your skin safe from UVA and UVB rays. Coolibar’s ZnO t-shirts, tunics, dresses, hoodies, polos, and pants are super soft, comfy and UPF 50+, blocking 98% of both UVA and UVB rays. All our fabrics are guaranteed UPF 50+ from the first time you wear a shirt to the day you retire it. We may be t-shirt and fabric geeks, but the right fabric matters.  

What is ZnO?

ZnO is a proprietary Coolibar fabric, a blend of cotton, bamboo viscose (a natural UV fighter) fabric embedded with millions of zinc oxide minerals. What makes our ZnO fabric unique is the zinc oxide minerals are inserted at the fiber level and can never be worn or washed out; they protect you as long as you need them for the lifetime of the garment. Zinc Oxide protects against UVA and UVB rays and has many skin comforting qualities, often used on the most sensitive skin types.

Why are clothes called UPF instead of SPF?

Between UPF and SPF, the concept is essentially the same, to protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation. What SPF is to lotions, liquids, and serums, UPF is to fabrics and clothing. Beyond the obvious difference between lotion and clothing, SPF measures sunscreen protection from UVB rays, the burning rays that lead to cancer. When applied correctly, an SPF of 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays (don’t forget to reapply too).  SPF doesn’t account for UVA rays which also can cause cancer and aging. Look for the broad spectrum on the label on your sunscreen.  UPF measures light transmittance, and Coolibar UPF 50+ blocks 98% UVA/UVB rays. Coolibar fabrics exceed all U.S. standards and are tested to the Australian standard, the highest rating standard in the world. All Coolibar fabrics are UPF 50+.

Stop settling for just a plain shirt. When shopping for your next t-shirt consider going with a tee with UPF power to keep your skin safe while you enjoy all of your adventures.

2 Comments
Experts Say

More Men are Diagnosed with and Die from Skin Cancer than Women

Dr. Arthur Ide is the owner of Dermatology, P.A. in Minneapolis, Minn. He is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota. He currently has four children and lives in Minneapolis.

 

More men than women are diagnosed with AND die from skin cancer. As dermatologists, we ask ourselves why. Is this a societal issue or does it have to do with biology? What is going on here? It’s a little bit of everything, to be honest. Men are the underdogs when it comes to health and wellness.

Our best approach is to look at five key issues behind this statistic and find solutions.

 

1: Men contract skin cancer differently than women

In general, men and women have different relationships with the sun. Many women seek out UV rays in an aesthetic way. Roughly 8,000,000 women tan indoors when they’re younger compared to 2,000,000 men. Men are more likely to contract skin cancer following a lifetime of sun exposure while engaging in outdoor activities like swimming, fishing or golfing.

SOLUTION: Teach men young and old to care for their skin. If your internal response to that suggestion was “yeah, but how,” I get it. Teaching men to adopt healthy skin habits can be tough. We almost always recommend skin protective clothing instead of sunscreens or lotions. Arm them with the tools that will protect them even if they forget to protect themselves.

2: Men are diagnosed much later in life than women

In part because of the difference in sun habits between men and women, skin cancer diagnoses are more common for women under the age of 49, and for men over the age of 49. Because skin cancer manifests itself at a younger age in women, they will often catch it before it spreads beyond one or two basal cells. Men who are diagnosed later in life will often have accrued multiple basal cells.

SOLUTION: Don’t let men wait! Getting your skin checked by a dermatologist should become part of everyone’s routine. Parents need to teach young people to care for their bodies inside and out. Adolescents learning to check their skin today stand a much better chance of detecting skin cancer when it counts.

3: When women see something, they say something. Men, not so much

Generally, women are champions when it comes to early detection. When they notice a change in their body, they take care of it. Often when a man comes to see me they’ve been ignoring the warning signs so long they’re a bit of a train wreck. We’ll find multiple cancers. The famous line we get from men is, “It didn’t bother me”, which is often followed by, “my wife made me come”. Well sure. Skin cancer doesn’t bother you until it’s killing you. This is a key reason why men’s mortality rates are higher than women.

SOLUTION: We need more watchdogs and evangelists. One of the troubles with detecting skin cancer in men is that it’s more common on their backs. Everyone needs to enlist the help of family doctors, partners and family to detect abnormalities in men.

4: Changing habits is easier for some (women) than it is for others (men)

When a woman comes to our office and discovers she’s at risk or has basal cells, she’ll act. Men are more resistant to change. I had one patient who discovered he had four basal cells on his back on his first visit. Despite this, I still can’t get him to wear even a standard cotton shirt outside 100% of the time.

SOLUTION: I’ve found that with men it’s helpful to show, not tell them what they need. Seeing is believing. The easiest solution is to arm them with clothing that will protect them even when they forget to. Our biggest hurdle with men AND women is to shift their dependence on sunscreen to sun protective clothing. What a lot of people don’t understand is that they need a protective shield that never fades or wears away. At the very minimum, we do our best to get women to cover their head, neck and shoulders and to get men to ALWAYS have a hat on while outdoors. The upper extremities are beacons for sunlight. Sunscreen alone will NOT protect them from harmful UV rays. They must cover up.

5: Educational information isn’t reaching men and women equally  

Information about skin cancer prevention and detection often falls under the heading of “beauty” or “wellness”. These aren’t categories frequently sought out by men. If I could get a sports reporter to highlight sun protection use in the stands at every game, we’d be in much better shape.  We need to get better at spreading the message to everyone that needs it.

SOLUTION: Support organizations like the Melanoma Research Foundation and The Skin Cancer Foundation. Their key purpose is to educate EVERYONE about the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection. Even smaller, local organizations make a big difference in terms of educating men and women about the threat of skin cancer and how to prevent it.

You can start by giving to one of these organizations for #GivingTuesday:

Support Awareness and Education:

Skin Cancer Foundation

Melanoma Action Coalition

 

Support Research:

Melanoma Research Alliance

Vitiligo Research Foundation

 

Support Awareness, Education and Research:

American Academy of Dermatology Association

American Cancer Society

Lupus Foundation of America

Melanoma Research Foundation

Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation

 

Support Youth:

American Academy of Pediatrics

Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation

Richard David Kann Foundation

 

External Sources:

American Academy of Dermatology Association “Melanoma Strikes Men Harder”

The Skin Cancer Foundation (August 2, 2016) “Men Fall Short in Skin Cancer Knowledge and Prevention”

The Skin Cancer Foundation (May 30, 2018) “Men on the Hook”

HealthDay News (November 5, 2018) “World Melanoma Deaths Up Among Men, But Not Women”

No Comments
Experts Say

Sneaky Ways Ultraviolet Rays Reach Us

Dr. Kathryn Dempsey is a board-certified dermatologist who practices in Mobile, Alabama and spends her weekends at Orange Beach. She enjoys teaching about the importance of daily sun protection. Here she has provided some tips on the sneaky ways ultraviolet rays reach us to ensure you stay educated and protected!

Each visit, I ask each of my patients, “How are you doing with your sun protection?” and nine out of ten times I get the same answer: “I don’t go in the sun.” I always take this opportunity for education on the ways ultraviolet rays reach us outside of just tanning on the beach. Most people don’t realize that the majority of our sun exposure happens on a day to day basis, often when we least expect it.

Here are five ways UV radiation reaches us, even when most people think they are safe.

  1. In the Car. Every time you drive you are exposing yourself to UVA radiation. While the law requires most front windshields to block the majority of UVA and UVB, side and rear windows do not have this same requirement and UVA comes straight through. So during that short (or long) commute to work, you are getting direct UVA exposure, mainly to your left side. UVA contributes to both premature aging and skin cancer. We know that more skin cancers occur on the left than the right and this is because of driving.
  2. At Work. (or Working from Home) Many people are lucky enough to have a workspace with windows and if you are working within several feet of one, UVA is reaching you. Remember, UVA penetrates through glass and windows.
  3. In Shade. We get it when we think we are protected by shade. It reflects off of sand, water, pavement, grass and snow. Studies have shown that sunscreen and protective clothing in addition to seeking shade is significantly more beneficial than seeking shade alone.
  4. At a Nail Salon. That’s right! We get it when we have our nails done. Did you know that the lights they use to speed polish drying emit UVA? And UVA Is also what is used to set gel manicures. Protect your hands!
  5. During Rainy Days. This may be the sneakiest way it reaches us and I always see a surge of sunburns after overcast summer days. While clouds may block sunlight, they do not block ultraviolet radiation and some of them even magnify it. Scary!

Did you know that one year of 2 minutes of casual sun daily adds up to 2 weeks of a beach vacation’s worth? And now that you know the sneaky ways that UV rays are reaching you, think about how much you really get – far more than 2 minutes a day. Therefore, it is so important to protect yourself on a day to day basis and this starts with sun protective clothing. I always recommend clothing with UPF 50+, a wide-brimmed hat and a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30. If we all did this on a daily basis, I assure you there would be a lot less skin cancer in this world!

2 Comments
Experts Say Live Wisely

10 Ways to Safely Enjoy the Sun

Between soccer games, outdoor concerts, travel and everyday moments, we are experiencing life outside more than ever. So, how can we develop a healthy relationship with the sun and stay safe? Experts recommend you start with these top 10 steps for protecting your family and preventing sun damage:

1. WEAR A WIDE-BRIMMED HAT WHENEVER POSSIBLE

One of the most common places for skin cancer is on the human scalp. A wide-brimmed (3-inch or greater) hat covers places where it is difficult to apply sunscreen, such as the tops of the ears and the back of the neck.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

2. WEAR UV-BLOCKING SUNGLASSES

Ocular melanoma is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults. Always wear high-quality UV-protective sunglasses whenever outdoors. Good sunglasses should block 100% of the sun’s UV spectrum – Ocular Melanoma Foundation

3. PROTECT YOUR SKIN WITH TRUSTED, TRIED AND TRUE UPF 50+ CLOTHING

Clothing is the best means of sun protection. Choose garments with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) label of 50 or higher to block 98% of all UV rays. A standard white cotton T-shirt will have a UPF of 5-7.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

4. DON’T GET BURNED!

What we call sunlight is technically ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays). In addition to cosmetic concerns like premature aging, wrinkling, leathery skin and unattractive sun spots (90% of which are caused by UV rays), UV rays alter our molecular structure and cause deep damage and skin cancer. In other words—don’t get burned! – American Cancer Society

5. WEAR GLOVES OR SUNSCREEN ON YOUR HANDS YEAR-ROUND

The backs of your hands, like your face, get sun exposure every day. The result: thinning, crinkled skin, dark spots, and skin cancers. Wear gloves or sunscreen year-round.  – Skin Cancer Foundation

6. ALWAYS WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHES WHEN OUTDOORS

The heat can tempt you to shed clothes, sacrificing sun safety for comfort.  UPF clothing is made of lightweight, high-tech fabrics specially treated to be “breathable” and “sweat-wicking”. – Skin Cancer Foundation

7. WHETHER YOU’RE ON A PLANE, TRAIN, CAR OR BOAT, COVER UP

By law, most front windshields in cars are treated to filter out most UVA rays, but side and rear windows generally aren’t. If you’re flying to your vacation and love the window seat, know that UVA rays come through airplane windows. To be safe, wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing anytime you’re traveling. Skin Cancer Foundation

8. DIVERSIFY YOUR SUN-PROTECTION ROUTINE

Because exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, everyone should protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen of SPF 30+ on exposed areas. American Academy of Dermatology

9. PROTECT YOURSELF ON OVERCAST DAYS

NEW: Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. This is why people often end up with serious sunburns on overcast days if they’ve spent time outside with no sun protection. –Skin Cancer Foundation

10. SHARE YOUR SUN-SAFE HABITS WITH OTHERS, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN

One blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of cancer. Protect them with lightweight and breathable sun-protective clothing, ideally long-sleeves and long pants in bright colors. Cover eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses and scalps and necks with broad-brimmed hats with brims 4” around or greater. – Skin Cancer Foundation

 

Pdf free icon
Sun Tips (Attachment)

 

No Comments
Experts Say

Do You Still Need Sunscreen if Your Makeup Contains SPF?

The simple answer is yes. Experts agree cosmetics with SPF are not enough to block Mother Nature’s damaging rays.

“You need seven times the normal amount of foundation and 14 times the normal amount of powder to get the sun protection factor on the label.”

Leslie Baumann, MD

While cosmetic companies have made strides to include SPF in “anti-aging” or “UV protective” formulas, the reality is most aren’t formulated with enough sunscreen properties to provide adequate coverage. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, that level of coverage only comes from a base layer of SPF 30+ sunscreen first.

How to apply sunscreen to your morning makeup routine:

  1. For best results, apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ directly to skin after your morning cleansing routine. Wait a few minutes for skin cells to respond to the sunscreen.
  2. Next, apply serum, moisturizer, primer or your foundation.
  3. If you use a mineral-based sunscreen, this may be applied after your serum and your moisturizer.
  4. Apply sunscreen to the remainder of your exposed skin, neck, upper chest, arms and hands. These areas are often left exposed to UV rays daily.

 

Several new sunscreen formulas soothe, protect and offer properties that nourish and hydrate skin. Brands like MD Solar Sciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Paula’s Choice Resist Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 and CoTZ Face Natural Tint SPF 40 provide a great base for your morning makeup and skin protection routine.

For sensitive skin, mineral-based sunscreens with the active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide soothe and are non-irritating. In fact, zinc oxide has healing properties for acne and rashes. Don’t worry about the ghostly white-film appearance that zinc oxide used to create, today’s formulas have solved this old problem, and colorless as well as lightly skin-tinted options are readily available.

As we become increasingly aware of the damage caused by omnipresent and invisible UVA rays (think “A” for aging) – premature aging, sagging skin, wrinkling and brown spots – proactive prevention is the mantra prescribed by medical experts. And because UVA rays are also a known contributor to skin cancer, medical professionals and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend these two primary methods for protection: UPF 50+ clothing and SPF 30+ sunscreen.

 

Sources: The Skin Cancer Foundation, Web MD, Dr. Axe

3 Comments
Experts Say Parenting

A Pediatric Dermatologist’s “How To” Protect Young Skin

Remembering to schedule your own full body skin exam is one thing, but what about annual skin check exams for the children in your life? We caught up with Ingrid Polcari, a Pediatric Dermatologist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota, to find out best practices for children.

At what age should a child have their first skin check and what should a parent or caregiver look for?

Parents should get to know their child’s skin and examine it regularly. Changes in marks on the skin are often the first sign of a problem or concern. It can be normal to be born with moles, or brown birthmarks. Moles can also be acquired over time.

Moles might grow slowly with the growth of your child, but changes like a rapid increase in size, a new shape or changing colors should be brought to the attention of a skin professional for an exam. A board-certified dermatologist, and if possible, one with expertise in Pediatric Dermatology, can help decide which marks are healthy and which need removal.

Are there skin areas where parents should be checking more frequently?

I always tell my patients that I need to check all the skin that they brought with them that day! Then I explain that moles and other skin growths can happen anywhere there is skin, which is why everything needs to be checked. Parents might find that bath time is an easy time to check hidden areas like the skin in the groin, underarms and scalp.

What happens if the doctor notices something suspicious on your child?

First, it’s important to know that skin cancers are extremely rare in children. But, we take changing skin growths seriously.  If we have a concern about the safety of a growth or aren’t able to give a medical diagnosis just by looking, we may opt to either monitor closely (with measurements and photographs for example), or recommend something called a skin biopsy. A skin biopsy is a procedure where the skin is numbed with medication and a small sample of the skin is taken so it can be looked at under a microscope by a pathologist with special training in skin conditions.

Is there a pediatric demographic that may be more prone to skin cancer?

Because skin cancers develop slowly, often after years of cumulative suntans and sunburns, it’s much more common to develop skin cancer in adulthood. Children with red-hair have the highest risk of sun damage when compared with children who do not have red hair. This is because the way they make pigment in the skin is different than in children who have darker hair, so they have less “natural defense” against the sun. This also explains why children with red-hair aren’t able to tan, and instead burn or freckle. These kids need extra special attention when it comes to sun protection!

Do you have an opinion on sunscreen application for babies under 6 months or age?

I follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Academy of Pediatrics, which says that avoiding the sun by seeking shade or using protective clothing or blankets is the best choice for infants less than 6 months. But if this is not possible and skin is exposed to the sun, apply a small amount of “physical blocker” type sunscreen–these are sunscreens with active ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. And remember that infants overheat easily, so it’s best to minimize exposure to heat and sun for your little ones!

Suggestive planning for next family vacation?

Sun protective clothing tends to be more reliable, less messy and less hassle than sunscreen. Outdoor swimming, especially mid-day when the sun is at its highest intensity, is a very high-risk activity when it comes to sunburn. Sunscreen will wash off quickly while you’re in the water, which means it needs to be reapplied often. UPF 50+ swimwear does a much better job in that situation.

Must haves in your family vacation beach bag?

Since I have 3 kids, we fill a whole wagon! A sun umbrellahats, swim shirts, sunscreen, snacks, and some cozy beach cover-ups are vacation musts.

If your child does get a sunburn what should you do? 

First, take note and consider what you can do next time to make sure it doesn’t happen again! Sunburns aren’t just painful, they are dangerous and cumulative sunburns over time will increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.

Keep the skin hydrated with a bland white cream, consider taking a cool bath and consider giving a proper dosage of ibuprofen or similar pain reliever as directed in the product guide. Have your child avoid the sun until the burn has fully healed.

Dr. Ingrid Polcari is a board-certified pediatric dermatologist and mother of three active little girls. In her free time, she and her family love to escape the city and enjoy the outdoors and sounds of the Loons in Northern Minnesota.

No Comments
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons