Local dermatologists give summer skin safety tips

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:35 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As temperatures get hotter, many people may want to cool off at the pool or beach, but it’s important to protect your skin while out in the sun.

Skin damage from too much sun exposure is extremely common, according to officials with Hattiesburg Clinic Dermatology.

Whether people are cooling off at the beach or are out running errands, it’s imperative to protect one’s skin every day.

When it comes to choosing the right sunscreen, doctors say there are a few things to keep in mind.

“The first thing you want to look for is an SPF of 30 or higher,” said William Waller, MD, FAAD, Hattiesburg Clinic Dermatology. “30 actually protects you from about 97% of the UV harmful rays… it doesn’t last forever so you have to reapply after about two hours or sooner if you’re getting wet, sweating, or towel drying… The second thing you want to look for… it needs to say broad spectrum. SPF only tells you what it protects against UVB rays, and you also need a broad spectrum to protect you against UVA.”

For those who are unable to avoid the sun, officials say certain types of clothes can give some protection.

“There’s a whole line of clothing now that are designed to protect you against sun, and they’re called UPF…,” Dr. Waller said. “Those are great things to wear, they’re usually kind of lightweight… they keep you cool in the summer and clothing like that is very helpful if you have an outdoor job or you can’t be in the shade or avoid that intense sun exposure.”

Waller also says it’s important not to rely on makeup products containing SPF.

“Check the SPF on your makeup,” Waller said. “Usually, it’s something pretty low like a 10 or 15 and you’re actually not getting that much protection. Plus, sunscreen is going to wear off after about two hours so unless you’re reapplying that makeup throughout the day, you’re really not protecting your skin like you should.”

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