Concerned about sun damage?

Concerned about sun damage?

By Life@TheU

Concerned about sun damage?

By Life@TheU

No matter your age, skin care can be complicated. Which moisturizer is best? How often do I reapply sunscreen? What about acne and dark spots? Experts at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Dr. Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, break down skin care tips for every age and share advice on the best ways to keep up with sun protection for the whole family. 

Don’t skip sunscreen.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, newborns and babies younger than six months should avoid exposure to the sun and sunscreen. Everyone else—including infants and toddlers—should apply sunscreen liberally, even when in the shade. Dr. Jonette Keri, a dermatologist with the University of Miami Health System, explained that simply staying out of the direct sunlight is not enough to protect your skin. Daily activities such as driving, sitting near a window, or walking in shaded areas can expose you to ultraviolet rays. Not sure how often to reapply sunscreen at the beach or pool? Get tips on how to maximize sun protection for everyone, including the kids.

As we age, sunscreen use becomes even more important. While navigating cleansers, serums, and retinoids is part of a successful skin care routine, nothing is more impactful than sun protection. According to Dr. Keri, if you’re applying only one skin product a day, it should be sunscreen. In addition to breaking down the importance of quality skin care products, she credits liberal and consistent sunscreen application with the reduction of premature age spots, wrinkles, and most importantly, skin cancer. Read more about how to care for your skin as you age. 

Bust myths on skin cancer.  

Even with consistent sunscreen use, skin cancer is always a possibility. While prevention may not always be possible, it’s important to understand the truth about diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Jennifer Tang, a dermatologist with the University of Miami Health System, said that regularly checking your skin is just as important as seeing a dermatologist annually. With more than 5 million skin cancer cases diagnosed every year, knowing what to look for can prompt a follow-up with your doctor and prevent delays in treatment. Dr. Tang also indicated that many skin cancers can be difficult to spot and may look similar to benign moles or spots. Learn how to effectively check your skin and find out more about common myths surrounding skin cancer. 

Don’t ignore hyperpigmentation. 

Most commonly caused by sun exposure, hyperpigmentation—also known as sunspots or age spots—can happen anywhere on your skin, explained University of Miami Health System dermatologist, Dr. Shasa Hu. She explained that other contributing factors can be illnesses, medications, acne scarring, or previous skin traumas. Dr. Hu shared that although the discoloration is a form of sun damage, it’s typically not cancerous. Despite the fact that hyperpigmentation is not a form of skin cancer, it’s still important to consult a dermatologist for a formal diagnosis. While treatment can help even skin tone, changes in size, shape, color, or texture to hyperpigmentation could be cause for alarm. Discover more about hyperpigmentation and get advice on how to safely get treatment.

Sun protection applies to your eyes, too. 

No matter your age, sunscreen isn’t enough when spending time outdoors, explained Dr. Carol Karp, an ocular oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. As a specialist in cancers of the eye surface, Dr. Karp said that proper eye protection can help to prevent both long- and short-term damage—including cancers of the eyes and eyelids, as well as cataracts and macular degeneration. Not sure if you have the right shades for protection from the sun? Check out tips from Dr. Karp on how to pick the perfect pair before enjoying your time outside. 

Access the medical care you need at a UHealth facility or via telehealth by scheduling an appointment. Find additional information about scheduling or call 305-243-4000.  

Live Well with UHealth is a series that highlights curated content from articles previously published on UMiami Health News, a website, which is also available in Spanish, that shares health tips and insights into research discoveries that change lives, brought to you by the experts at the University of Miami Health System. Access This story highlights the following articles.