ost doctors will tell you that the best way
to protect yourself from skin cancer is to stay out of the sun. According to physicians at Winthrop-University Hospital there are ways to protect your skin this summer without being locked inside by following a few important
With an estimated one million Americans
to be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer this year, Frank DeMento, MD, Chief of Dermatology at Winthrop
recommends that individuals use plenty of sunscreen and avoid over-exposure to the sun's damaging Ultra Violet
"Guarding the skin against the main culprit of
skin cancer — the sun's UV rays - is most important," says Dr. DeMento. He recommends that people limit exposure to the sun,
cover-up with protective clothing including hats, and use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher.
"It is also very important to reapply sunscreen every few hours and after swimming. I also
recommend using sunscreen that is water resistant - the higher the number the more water-resistant. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 blocks out about 95%
of the ultraviolet rays and a product with an SPF
of 30 blocks out about 98% of UV rays."
Winthrop's experts offer these sun protection tips to help you stay burn-free:
- Minimize your time in the sun between the
hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is
- Cover up with a hat and light colored clothing when outdoors during peak hours.
- Use SPF 15 or higher on cloudy and overcast days, as well as sunny days.
- Apply an appropriate amount of
sunscreen 30 minutes before
- Reapply after swimming,
toweling, or playing sports.
- Keep infants (under the age of six months) out
of the sun.
- Be aware that the sun's rays can also be harmful in the wintertime.
- Medications, such as birth control pills, antihistamines, antidepressants and certain antibiotics can cause increased sensitivity to the sun.
Dr. DeMento also warns "not to let your guard down on overcast days. Some of worst burns occur during partly cloudy days."
For more information on skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, call 1-516-663-0333.