The thermometer is clearly dropping, and along with that may be your dropping level of concern about skin care and protection. It is so important to maintain vigilance even during the cold winter months. Here are some "weather conditions" and tips for you to stay on top of skin cancer prevention:
(1) When it's cloudy - it is tempting even during the summer months to abandon skin protection. We have so many more cloudy days in the winter, and so, skin cancer prevention may utterly disappear as you convince yourself there's no need to worry. Well up to 80% of the sun's UV radiation can penetrate clouds, so don't forget about using sun block even on those days. Remember that the sun's rays can also penetrate windowpanes, so even if you're indoors - sitting near a window means you need adequate sun block protection.
(2) When it's cold, you almost certainly think about moisturizing your skin, but you may forget to block out the sun's rays. Use a moisturizer that has UVA and UVB protection so you cover both winter needs.
(3) You may travel to a beautiful warm, sunny paradise as a treat during the very cold winter months. If you are only vacationing for several days or a week, you may justify skipping the sun block because, "I really want to get my skin tanned a bit; it's only for a week." There is no safe tan unless it comes from a bottle so slather on the sun block and use self tanner to get the golden glow.
(4) You are busy out on the slopes all day and since you applied sun block in the early morning, you've decided "you're covered." The ski slopes reflect that sun right into your face and can amplify the radiation exposure. If you are on the slopes our outdoors, you need to re-apply sun block every 3-4 hours.
(5) You are trying to follow the doctor's recommendation of getting more vitamin D, so you are exposing yourself to the sun on every day of sunshine. Most doctors feel that a 10-15 minute exposure once or twice a week is fine. Otherwise you should consult with a health professional to get your vitamin D level (it's a blood text) and take a vitamin D supplement. You do not want to risk skin cancer for the sake of your vitamin D levels.
So remember that year round skin protection is necessary to prevent skin cancer. You may want to choose a sun block formula that addresses dry skin issues. Try a few and see which one works best for your skin type.
Published On: January 30, 2010