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At this point, you either have to be sticking your head in the sand or ignoring every single piece of information that comes your way not to know that too much sun exposure can hurt your skin. However, the day-to-day skin protection habits that you are practicing daily may not be enough. The sun is quite intense in Southlake, TX, and our summers can get quite hot. While the temperature is not the only measure of UV damage, its presence is certainly an indicator that you need to slather up and protect yourself.
One thing that might surprise you is that you are probably getting skin damage in many more ways than you ever imagined. In fact, your dermatologist probably has an entire list of ways that skin is damaging your skin that you never even thought about. As odd as it is, it is the truth and is a very good reason why you need to read up on proper skin protection if you don’t want to end up with wrinkled skin or even skin cancer. Unsightly and unhealthy skin is not the future most people are after.
With that in mind, take a few seconds to read this list of the top facts about sin protection that your dermatologist wishes you knew. Then absorb the facts so that you can better protect yourself when you are exposed to the Southlake, TX sun. Keep in mind that skin damage starts when you are a child and is cumulative, so the amount of radiation that your kids are exposed to as they grow will add up. Therefore, this advice applies to the entire family so that you can give your kids a fighting shot at healthy skin as they grow up. Plus, good skincare habits are learned young, so teaching them young increases the chances that they will take care of their skin and avoid future trips to the dermatologist as well.
Your Car Windows Do Not Protect You From UV Rays
It is reasonable to think that if you are in your car you are good to go, but actually, the opposite is true. Ask anyone who has taken a road trip through the desert and they will probably have a tale or two about their sunburned driving arm. The glass in your car is most likely unable to block out the UV light that filters through the car and into your skin.
It gets worse though, people who spend a lot of time driving for their job or some other reason often end up at the dermatologist because the signs of facial aging are worse on one side of the face versus the other. If this horrifies you, it should because it is just as bad as laying out in the sun at the beach and falling asleep only to wake up to an uneven tan. Only you are waking up as an adult to a half-toned face. Not a great look.
The good news is that if you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen before getting into the car in the morning you can help prevent some of the penetration from the sunrays. You also might want to consider a brush-on zinc powder to help with your afternoon drive home. Those who spend an extreme amount of time in the car will probably find that it is worth it to pay for a UVA tint on the windows versus paying for expensive cosmetic surgery later to attempt to even out your face at the dermatologist.
You Still Need to Rub in Spray-On Sunscreens
Spray-on sunscreens are extremely popular because they coat a large area of the body in a short amount of time, which is one reason why parents love them. However, if you want to get the true SPF power of the sunscreen you need to actually rub it into the skin. The problem is that the mist collects into droplets that don’t cover the skin area evenly. Therefore, while the spray-on may help you quickly coat the body with sunscreen, you still need to take a few extra minutes to rub it in to receive the full benefits. As a side note, this can save you from a splotchy sunburn that will land you in the dermatologist’s office for further treatment.
Not All Sunscreen Hurts the Coral Reefs
There has been a lot of press lately about sunscreen damaging the coral reefs. However, this alone is not a good reason to give up on proper sun protection. Especially when you consider that doing so may land you in a dermatologist’s office having a melanoma removed later in life. While there are two chemicals that may be damaging the coral reefs: octinoxate and oxybenzone, there are many other mineral-based sunscreens that do not cause any harm to reef systems. Therefore, if this is a concern for you, simply opt for sunscreens with a titanium or zinc base. Given the amount of sun that is always present in Southlake, TX, you also might want to consider investing in a rash guard while out in the sun or swimming. Limiting the amount of skin that is exposed under the sun is always the best approach.
Waterproof Sunscreen is a Myth
Finally, one pet peeve of a lot of dermatologists is the mislabeling of sunscreen as waterproof. The FDA actually forces companies to label their sunscreen as water-resistant, but many consumers automatically interpret that as waterproof. The truth is that most will come off fairly quickly with repeated water exposure. Sport formulations tend to last a little longer, but if you are swimming it is a good idea to reapply sunscreen every hour for the best coverage.
Are you already suffering from the effects of prolonged sun exposure? Book an appointment with a dermatologist from Compassion Dermatology to find out what solutions are available to help even out your skin.