family walking in the snow with child on a sled

Protect Your Skin from the Winter Sun

Sunscreen tends to be one of the last things on people’s minds when cold weather hits when in reality, it is still very important for your skin’s health. Remembering to apply a suitable sunscreen all year long will help to lessen signs of aging and chances of skin cancer.

Harmful UV rays are present year-round and can even filter through heavy cloud coverage to reach your skin. If any part of your skin is uncovered, it will be exposed to these harmful UV rays which are the primary cause of skin cancer.

Seeing as skin cancer is the most common type of cancer currently in the United States, it is important to take any precautions to avoid it. By wearing sunscreen on all exposed parts of the skin all-year-round, you can dramatically decrease your chances of getting skin cancer.

People tend to overlook the fact that snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays onto your skin. In addition to snow being reflective, if you are in a higher altitude the atmosphere is thinner and blocks less of the harmful UV radiation rays. For reference, sun exposure increases about 4%-5% every 1,000 feet above sea level you travel. This means that skiers and snowboarders are at an even greater risk in the winter for sunburn and harmful UV rays reaching the skin.

Keep up proactive sunscreen habits all year to ensure you are properly protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. You can do this by wearing sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 broad-spectrum, applying it liberally every two hours, and paying extra attention to your face, ears, hands, and neck. Be sure to do regular checks of your skin as well and visit a dermatologist if you feel you are at risk of skin cancer.

By following these simple steps, you can avoid premature aging and skin cancer caused by harmful UV rays. To design a customized skincare program to meet your individual needs or schedule a laser treatment to address previous sun damage, call Annapolis Plastic Surgery today.