Many of my patients take a break from our Chicago weather with a winter vacation. Some go for warm, sunny skies and head south to the beaches; others head to the slopes for great skiing. Whichever entices you, here are a few things to keep in mind:
At the beach
Here’s something else you may not know about but should: The Margarita Sunburn! No. This is not about drinking too many and falling asleep in the sun, though that can have some other negative effects. It’s a more common term for phytophotodermatitis and it happens when oil or dander from some plants and citrus fruits (most commonly, lime) gets on your skin and then is exposed to UV light. The combination of sun and lime causes a type of a reaction, which usually appears a day or two after exposure and can get quite severe, leading to burning, stinging and even blisters. It also usually results in hyperpigmentation, which can take months to fade.
After a few months of bone-chilling winter, it feels great to be warm. But, you really need to take extra care of your skin. Going home with a “tan” is not a good plan. Instead, enjoy your trip, and use a self-tanning product for that been-to-the-beach glow.
On the slopes
In addition to the direct rays of sunlight already reaching your skin, sunlight reflects strongly off the snow. Both direct and reflected rays can affect exposed skin, and overexposure can cause sunburn. Therefore, before hitting the slopes, apply a good sunscreen, as well as wearing sunglasses or ski goggles.
Avoid a sunburn during your vacation
Whether you’re at sea level or high in the mountains, the sun’s rays are strong and dangerous for your skin.
- Apply high SPF sunscreen. Sunscreen is always important no matter where and how your skin is exposed to the sun’s dangerous UV rays. Make sure to reapply every 2 hours.
- Cover up. Besides sunscreen, covering up your body with hats and clothing are also good forms of sun protection.
- Wear sunglasses. Your eyes will thank you.
- Seek shade as much as possible.
Please: bring home great memories and not a sunburn!
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I provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.