We all know that sunscreen is important to wear during the summer months but did you know it is just as important into those winter months? In the summer when you’re outside, it is obvious as to why we would wear sunscreen. To protect us from getting skin cancer, prevent wrinkles from forming sooner than later, and getting burned. More times than not, people don’t think to wear sunscreen unless their out swimming or on the beach. I can tell you it is important to wear year round! My mom had a mole on her left forearm that she was suspicious of. She went to the doctor and the physician told her it was cancerous and it needed to be removed. He believed that the cause of it was from the sun facing down on her arm through her car window. If you think about it, that makes sense because when we are driving, the sun is beating down on us through the window on the left hand side always! In the winter, we are all bundled up with our jackets, leggings, and boots; but your face and neck are still exposed to the sun’s rays and it can be just as harmful! When the sun hits the snow or ice, it reflects more of the sun on us. If you are going to be skiing or snowboarding, this is an important time to wear it as you’re being exposed closer to the sun the farther you are up the hill. When I was reading as to why it was so important online, it was stated that 80 percent of UV radiation is reflected from the snow, while as 20 percent is reflected from sand! Crazy to think about right?!
What are different things you can wear to stay protected? You can use sunscreen (the obvious), moisturizers/lotions with SPF in them, makeup like foundation with SPF in them, or SPF lip balms! Don’t forget that lips are just as important as the rest of your body! By using SPF on your lips, I have read that it can cause less cold sores to occur during the cold months. The sun ages your skin and your lips as you have thin skin on them already. Skipping your lips can increase your risk of getting skin cancer! Your skin is firm and forgetting to wear sunscreen can make the skin more loose overtime faster! The best SPF to get is 30 or higher and with lips around 15. Always put it on 30 minutes before going outdoors and keep applying every 2 hours. Apply it on your face, chin, neck, lips, around the eyes, and hands in the winter time. Obviously on all parts of your body in the summer.
I hope I have given you plenty of reasons and facts as to why wearing sunscreen is so important year round. As always, make sure you are checking moles to see if there are any changes to them. If you are suspicious of any of them, make an appointment to see your physician, or a physician here at Plastic Surgery Associates of SD! It is better to be safe than sorry and to stop skin cancer in its earliest stages!
Written by Chloe S., ST.