Protecting Your Skin From Sun Damage

Last updated: Jul 01, 2011, 06:00 AM

By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group

Each of us needs some exposure to the sun for good health. But too much short- or long-term exposure to ultra violet (UV) radiation can damage your skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. Depending on your skin type and other risk factors, even one severe sunburn during childhood and several severe sunburns during adulthood can increase your risk of skin cancer.    

If you enjoy spending more time outside during the warm months, be sure to protect yourself from harmful effects of the sun's UV rays by:  

  • Limiting your daily overall exposure to the sun
  • Avoiding the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM when UV rays are strongest
  • Staying in the shade
  • Wearing tightly woven clothing that protects your skin
  • Wearing a brimmed hat that shades your head, face, ears, and neck
  • Wearing sunscreen with UV/UVB protection and a sun protector factor (SPF) of 15 or more
  •  Wearing wrap-around sunglasses that block as close to 100% of UVA/UVB rays as possible
  • Protecting yourself from rays reflecting off water, sand, and cement surfaces

Remember that your risk for sun damage is great on cloudy as well as sunny days.  Although clouds and ozone block the sun somewhat, they won't protect you from UV rays. For this reason, it's important to adopt the same sun-safe practices you use for sunny days even if the sky is cloudy.  For


If you have questions or concerns about your skin and risk for skin cancer
call Summit Medical Group Dermatology today at 908-277-8668.

Click here to learn more about Mohs Micrographic surgery
for skin cancer removal.