Winter Sun Protection: Why It’s Important
Skin Cancer Care Specialists | January 5, 2018
Once the hot days of summer subside, it is easy to forget that the sun keeps shining and that our skin still needs protection. Of course, with the cooler temperatures, we’re no longer exposing eighty percent (or more) of our skin to the sun for extended periods of time on the beach, but we should be aware of the parts of our skin that do stay exposed when we’re outside.
Also, winter is the time that many travel to snowy climates, where up to eighty percent of the UV light from the sun reflects off the snow, meaning that people are often hit twice by the same harmful rays. Conditions are even harsher for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding, because at higher altitudes, the intensity of UV radiation exposure increases dramatically—even on cloudy days.
So take precautions this winter, regardless of your plans, and remember that the main steps to protection are to use sunscreen, cover up, and be mindful of how much time you spend in the sun. In addition to applying SPF 30 sunscreen every two hours in the sun, you may want to use sunscreen with moisturizers if the conditions are harsh, and carry a travel size bottle with you so you can reapply at any time. The goal is to keep as much of your skin covered as possible, protect the skin that is exposed, and reduce the amount of sun exposure as much as possible.
The vast majority of skin cancers are due to sun exposure, so whether you stay in the milder winter temperatures of Florida or brave the extreme conditions of the ski slopes, remember that the sun can still burn, even in the cold.