Summertime and the living is easy. Easy, if you take care of your skin correctly, that is. The tips below come to us under the watchful eye of Michelle Roy, PA-C, MHS, of Dermatology and Skin Health. These are ways you can keep yourself and your family’s skin healthy and looking good while the sun shines.
Take a shot
Apply and reapply… your sunscreen. Try a physical block sunscreen that contains micronized zinc oxide, SPF30. When applying think of a shot glass… this is the volume of sunscreen you need to apply to your entire body. Look to reapply after getting wet or every 2 hours. Check your expiration date.
Give us some lip
Don’t forget your lips… use a lip balm with zinc. Badger Balm, a N.H.-based company, makes a great one.
The eyes have it
Your eyes are your window to the world… protect them. Many people do not realize that retinal melanomas are on the rise. Wear your sunglasses daily. Look for ones that will block 100 percent of UV light. Some tints are better than others. Look for ones that are bronze, copper or reddish brown in color.
You’re burned. Now what?
If you do get burned, a simple solution to ease discomfort is to use a mixture of skim milk and water as a compress to the sunburned area for 10 minutes. Follow with over the counter hydrocortisone cream and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory like Motrin or Advil.
Be sure to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser… summer weather and products can increase oiliness to skin. Some people may even want to use a toner one to two times a week to help reduce oiliness. An inexpensive toner is good old-fashioned witch hazel. Wiping down with a cotton ball can be an easy fix for summertime oiliness.
Moisturize… Even though summertime mugginess, sports, and sunblock can increase oiliness to your skin, it is still important to moisturize. This is the time of year when a lotion – usually found in a pump bottle, not a cream – usually found in a jar or tube, can help keep your skin barrier intact.
Dress for success
Keep your clothes on… remember that darker clothes with a tight weave are best. If you can see through it, UV rays can get through it.
Caps won’t cut it
Grab a wide brim hat… simple visors and baseball caps do not adequately cover the delicate skin of your ears, back and side of your neck, nose or cheek bones.
Blister in the sun
Keep an eye on the kids…one bad blistering sunburn before the age of 18 can double a child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
Watch out for phytophotodermatitis!
Watch what you eat…many people don’t realize that lemons, limes, and mangoes are delicious, but the juices can interact with the sun creating a itchy red rash that can look like a burn. It is what we call a phytophotodermatitis.
Check your medications. Some common blood pressure medications and acne medications can increase your risk of sun sensitivity.