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Sun Sense Safety Tips

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Sun Sense Safety Tips

World leaders and innovators in skin cancer surgery and reconstruction

Safety Tips

Sun Safety

    Stay in the shade whenever possible. You should be especially careful between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest, or when the UV index in your area is high. Remember you can still get sunburn on cloudy days, too.
    Even when you think you’re in the shade you may be exposed to the sun. Reflective surfaces, such as water, sand and snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun’s damaging rays into the shade.
    Wear clothing that will protect your skin’s sensitive areas. Loose-fitting tightly woven fabrics; dark-colored, long-sleeved shirts, blouses or skirts, hat with a 4 inch wide brim; and UV – protected sunglasses are recommended. Special sun protective clothing can be purchased through Sun Precautions-Solumbra Clothing (800-882-7860), Cabela’s (800-844-2267), L.L. Bean (800-809-7057), Orvis (800-333-1550), and Sportif USA (775-359-6400).
    Sunscreens work by absorbing, reflecting or “scattering” the sun’s rays. They are available in many forms and are labeled with SPF (sun protection factor) numbers. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. Apply 20 minutes before going out and reapply every two hours. Your sunscreen should block both UVA and UVB, most sunscreens break down when exposed to the sun, reducing their UVA protection. Anthelios SX is a new & improved sunscreen that absorbs both UVA & UVB. It is stable and lasts longer on your skin. Neutrogena adds Helioplex to stabilize many of their sunscreens and prevent breakdown by the sun. Other good sunscreens are: Banana Boat, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic, Olay Complete, Solbar PF, Blue Lizard, Total Block and Vanicream.
    The lips have no natural pigment and therefore are very susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer. Use a sunscreen lipstick and reapply often.
    The effectiveness of any sunscreen depends on the amount applied. A recent study found that most people use about ¼ as mush as they should. To be sure you adequately cover the body, apply liberally, using about an ounce of sunscreen (one shot glass full). Cover every exposed surface, including those areas which people frequently miss: ears, scalp, lips, and front and back of the hands and neck. Also apply under thin clothing such as T-shirts or polo shirts. For best results, apply directly from the bottle/tube to each body part, then rub it in.
    The best way to reduce UV exposure and its damage is DAILY application of sunscreen. Most people apply sunscreen only before outdoor activities such as swimming, golfing, boating, or going to the beach. However, more than half of ultraviolet light exposure occurs in non-summer months and during routine daily activities when most people are not protected with sunscreen. It’s never too late to start; a person who begins using SPF-15 sunscreen daily at age 40 can reduce lifetime exposure by 40%.
    Studies show severe sunburns in the childhood or teenage years can increase the risk for melanoma later in life. So, take extra care to protect babies and children from the sun. Imagine how much sun damage would be avoided if all children wore sunscreens daily – teach children at an early age.
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Please call us at Shadyside 412-681-9400 or Jefferson 412-466-9400.

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