NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s what we wait all winter to be able to do, get outside and enjoy the nice temperatures.
Whether you are hitting the beach or just going for a walk, Yale Medicine Dermatologist Kathleen Suozzi says to make efforts to protect your skin.
“A lot of times I see the worst sunburns early in the season when they’re thinking they don’t have to be as cautious about sun protection and the UV index this weekend is looking pretty high,” she said.
Dr. Suozzi says the sun is the strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Dr. Suozzi says skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers in humans.
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Her recommendation for people is to use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and reapply it every two hours.
She says when applying sunscreens don’t forget all areas that can get a lot of sun. This includes the ears and along the hairline, as that is a common spot for skin cancer, especially in women.
Dr. Suozzi says she even sees skin cancer on her patient’s feet.
She says she has no preference if patients wear spray or lotion sunscreens. She tells patients to buy what they are going to wear.
If a patient chooses to wear a spray sunscreen, she recommends purchasing one that does not have aerosol, as those contain the chemical benzene, which can be harmful to humans.
And consumers have a choice of physical barrier sunscreens, such as zinc or titanium-based versions. These sunscreen types act like shields that sit on top of the skin and reflect the UV off of them.
That’s unlike “chemical sunscreens” which she also recommends. Dr. Suozzi says since they show up in the bloodstream she prefers the shield-based versions for children.
“It’s possible that systemic absorption could be more important to avoid in small children so for that reason definitely stick to mineral-based products for small kids,” she said.