Around this time every year, we reach out to our patients and do all we can to stress the extreme importance of proper sun protection. While the sun is ever-present—especially at the high-elevations of Colorado—the summer months always pose the highest risk of prolonged, unprotected exposure to UV radiation and all the consequences (both visible and unseen) that come with sun damage. Premature aging and even skin cancer can be prevented through better sun protection.
In this blog, we will discuss the daily steps you and your loved ones can take to protect your complexion from harmful UV exposure, strengthen the underlying functions of your skin, and ensure you remain free of dangerous and potentially life-threatening skin cancers.
Sunscreen. Everyday. No Exceptions.
There is a common misconception that the sun’s effects on our bodies are only present through long periods of direct sun exposure. The truth, however, is that UV radiation is ever-present and enters the skin even when obscured by glass, cloud cover, and even clothing. This is the same principle that allows houseplants to thrive even when not placed directly in front of open windows. Which is also why it is vital to the health of your skin that you wear a daily, broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen no matter the weather or your plans for indoor or outdoor activities.
Protect Your Skin from Free Radicals with Topical Antioxidants
While sunscreen is the obvious MVP of the sun protection game, topical antioxidants are a close runner up. The role that antioxidant products play in daily sun protection is absolutely key to keeping skin healthy and looking beautiful throughout the hottest and sunniest days of the year.
Staff and patient favorites such as clara’s Essential C Antioxidant Serum and Bright CEF Serum help nourish the skin with essential vitamins, stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin proteins within the skin, and protect against free radical scavenging—the latter of which produces inflammation and damages the actual DNA structure of skin cells.
Wear Clothing That Helps Block UVA and UVB Rays
One of the greatest fashion trends of the last decade or so is the emergence of sun-protective clothing. The UPF (or Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a rating used to determine how much radiation is blocked by any given article of clothing. For example, a simple white t-shirt has a UPF rating of between 5 and 8, which is extremely poor. In contrast, the clothing brand Marmot sells a shirt with a UPF rating of 50.
Sun-protective clothing is not a substitute for sunscreen, but when worn together, they greatly increase coverage from harmful sun exposure.
Schedule Your Annual Skin Exam for Skin Cancer
Finally, it is absolutely essential that everyone undergoes annual full-body skin cancer screenings. Skin cancer is difficult for the untrained eye to catch, and by scheduling regular exams with a Vanguard dermatologist, you can have peace-of-mind knowing that your skin is free of potentially life-threatening skin cancers.
Schedule your Colorado dermatology appointment for a skin cancer exam
Vanguard Skin Specialists has dermatology offices in Castle Rock, Canon City, Colorado Springs, La Junta, Parker, Pueblo, and Woodland Park. To schedule a skin cancer exam with a dermatologist, call 719 355 1585.