Summer in New England

Posted on July 28, 2007 | by

Four things to remember in avoiding the sun’s harmful rays:

1. Wear Sunblock
2. Stay out of the sun when it is most harmful – between 10 am and 4 pm
3. Check the UV index each day and be especially careful outdoors on higher numbered days
4. Remember that beach sand, water and snow reflect the sun’s rays and increase radiation. Clouds only block about 20% of UV radiation, and being in the water does not offer protection since UV radiation can pass right through it.

The summer season inevitably brings trips to the beach, lying by the pool, working in the garden, riding bikes, and walking the dog. We need to remember the dangers of exposure to the sun without skin protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Telling patients to stay out of the sun is often advice not heeded, especially after a long, cold, New England winter. Wearing a hat and long sleeved clothing is also not always possible or desired. The use of sunblocks is a great and an effective compromise.

Most people have a basic understanding of sun protection factors (SPF). These provide a measurement of the UVB sunlight needed to produce redness on sunscreen product-protected skin as compared to unprotected skin. Higher SPF numbers are better. Newer to the market are sunblocks which block UV radiation of the skin by reflecting the rays, not allowing absorption. These physical blockers include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Since the effects of sunlight on the skin include premature skin aging, skin cancer, and other skin disorders, we recommend using skin care products which contain sunblocks. These can be found in the makeup, skin care products, and sunblocks which we carry. By adding sunblocks to your daily skin care regimen, you protect your skin, keep its appearance more youthful, and avoid exposure to cancer-causing UV radiation.

Boston Plastic Surgery carries a full range of medical-grade skin care products, including Allergan, Avene, Boiron, Glytone, Kinerase, Neostrata, Nia24, Obagi, Person & Covey, and Vitamedica, plus Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup. Many of these products incorporate the sunblock components of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, thus providing the best protection available against UV rays. We also carry sunless tanning products in liquid and pad-infused forms, to help you get that healthy glow without subjecting your skin to sun damage.

If you are careful and safe when out in the sun, you will look beautiful for years to come.