Jun 7, 2016
Dr. Larisa Geskin, associate professor of dermatology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and director of the Comprehensive Skin Cancer Center, says that any coloration to the skin caused by the sun, is a sign of DNA damage.
Dr. Geskin recommends the following guidelines to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun and to be cautious of melanoma:
- Use sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” that has both UVA- and UVB-absorbing/blocking ingredients.
- The best “sun blocker” is zinc oxide. Use sunscreen with high percent of zinc oxide (at least 5%, but 10% is better)
- Apply sunscreen multiple times if you are going to be in the sun for hours at a time.
- Visit a dermatologist at least once to have your skin checked. Follow-up visits will depend on your risk factors.
- Melanoma does not discriminate against ethnicities or skin colors - everyone can get it. So it is important to be screened and educated on melanoma surveillance.
- Protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays. Children under 6 months old should not have any direct sun exposure. Babies obtain a majority of their vitamin D from formula. If the child is breastfed, consult your pediatrician about Vitamin D supplement.
- Seek the shade, wear hats and sunglasses, and use umbrellas when appropriate.
- Use tanning creams instead of tanning beds if you want to get a safe summer glow.
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