Helpful tips to protect skin outside

As we head outdoors to enjoy the warm spring weather, now is the perfect time to review the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage.

It’s important to wear a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or more when exposed to the sun for an extended period. Sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide provide the best protection and should be applied to your entire body before going outside. It’s best to reapply sunscreen every two hours or sooner if you begin developing sunburn, and remember: Doeverything you can to prevent your skin from burning.Sunburn causes DNA damage to skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer, as well as wrinkles and other damaging effects. In addition to good sunscreen, there are hats, beachwear and protective clothing that have ultraviolet protection; look for “ultraviolet protection factor” on the label.

Even if you are only exposed to the sun for alimitedtime, you should use a daily sunscreen. We are exposed to harmful UV rays while driving a car, sitting by a window or walking from the car to our destination. Routine exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to skin cancer and photoaging (wrinkles and brown spots). This is especially true for tanning beds. With proms and other seasonal special events right around the corner, teenagers and others are strongly discouraged from using tanning beds, which have been proven to cause skin cancer.

If you are already showing signs of photoaging, using a daily sunscreen, as well as topical antiaging products that include retinoids and vitamin C, will help prevent and reverse signs of sun damage. Laser treatments may also be considered to help reduce fine lines and brown spots. The Fraxel Dual laser was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and prevention of precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis. This laser also helps treat brown spots and fine lines. A dermatologist can discuss such treatment options with you.

Enjoy this wonderful weather and please make sure to protect your skin!

Note: Dr. Kingsley is holding an open house on April 26 at her office aimed at informing attendees about the cosmetic services she offers. The public is welcome. Call 944-7744 for more information.