Tips for Protecting Your Skin from Sun Damage This Summer

Jun 7, 2016

Dr. Larisa Geskin banner

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.


NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive healthcare delivery networks, focused on providing innovative and compassionate care to patients in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical school partners, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and clinical innovation.

NewYork-Presbyterian has four major divisions: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is ranked #1 in the New York metropolitan area by U.S. News and World Report and repeatedly named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation; NewYork-Presbyterian Regional Hospital Network is comprised of leading hospitals in and around New York and delivers high-quality care to patients throughout the region; NewYork-Presbyterian Physician Services connects medical experts with patients in their communities; and NewYork-Presbyterian Community and Population Health features the hospital’s ambulatory care network sites and operations, community care initiatives and healthcare quality programs, including NewYork Quality Care, established by NewYork-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell and Columbia.

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. Each year, nearly 29,000 NewYork-Presbyterian professionals deliver exceptional care to more than 2 million patients.

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Connor Hadley 212-821-0560