Time for Extra Sun Protection

UV Protection graphic illustrating why it's time for extra sun protection and Chicago dermatologist Dr. Nilam Amin discuss the issue here.

As we approach the weather that makes living in Chicago the best, it’s important to remind you that the more time you spend outdoors, the higher your exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. 

By now, you’ve probably heard me say a zillion times how important it is to wear a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Yes. Every day, no matter how much or little time you spend in direct sunshine, you should apply sunscreen before leaving home and reapply every few hours if you’re out and about.

Windows don’t block UV rays

Flying for your vacation or work? Plane windows do not protect you from the sun’s damaging rays. So, put on your sunscreen before leaving for the airport and reapply every 4–6 hours when flying in daylight hours.

In a car, especially with the window down? You may notice that your arm and side of your face and neck closest to the open window are getting more sun than the rest of you. It’s a good idea to wear sunscreen especially on your arms, chest, neck, and face.

Provide sun protection by using sunscreen properly

Here are a few things to know about sunscreens:

  • Choose the right sunscreen for you. Many destinations have banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate since they have been found to damage delicate reef eco-systems. For these destinations, or if you just want to be more eco-friendly or have sensitive skin, choose mineral-based products that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc. Regardless of product type, make sure it’s broad-spectrum and has a SPF factor of at least 30.
  • Apply it properly. Many people like spray on sunscreen because they are easy to use. But you need to rub them in, or they aren’t going to give you the necessary coverage.
  • Water resistant is NOT waterproof. Essentially, sunscreens protect for about 40 – 80 minutes. Anytime you go into the water and/or sweat, you’ll want to reapply as soon as you dry off. 
  • Sun damage happens fast! You may have had a bad sunburn in the past and know you don’t want another!! Keep in mind that unprotected skin can burn in as few as 5 – 10 minutes. This leads to aged-looking skin and, more seriously, potentially skin cancer.

Here for your dermatological needs

Our goal is to help you have great looking, healthy skin. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.