Years of sun exposure without protection can lead to rough skin, wrinkles, freckles, dilated blood vessels, and skin cancers. It may also cause other skin problems. The suns ultraviolet (invisible) rays cause most of the damage to your skin. These invisible rays known as ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B can tan, burn, and damage your skin. These rays are more intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and in regions that are closer to the equator. The state of Florida receives 150% more harmful UV rays than Maine.
If your skin is exposed to sunlight too long, redness may develop and increase for up to 24 hours. Severe sunburn can cause skin tenderness, pain, swelling, and blistering. Additional symptoms like fever, chills, upset stomach, and confusion indicate serious sunburn and require immediate medical attention. If you develop a fever as a result of sunburn, it is recommended that you see a dermatologist.
Unfortunately, there is no quick cure for minor sunburn. However, aloe vera gel, wet compresses, cool baths, and lotions may provide some relief. In more sever cases, Dr. Abrams can prescribe medicine to help reduce swelling, pain, and prevent infection. Prevention is the key to protecting your skin from the sun's damaging rays.
The following guidelines are recommended by our office and the American Academy of Dermatology:
1 Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 on all exposed skin (including the lips) even on cloudy days.
2 Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours when outdoors, and more frequently if swimming or perspiring heavily.
3 Wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
4 Take advantage of the shade whenever possible.
5 Plan outdoor activities earlier than 10 a.m. or later than 4 p.m. when possible.
By using common sense and taking the above precautions, you can enjoy the sunny days without worrying about skin cancer or wrinkles. Sun protective products are available at our office or in the products section of this web site.
If you'd like to learn more about sun damage, browse some of the links below for information provided by some of the top dermatological resources available online.
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