Despite all the cloudy days and rainy weather we've had,
summer has finally arrived
. Summer days include many outdoor activities like gardening, swimming, sporting events and vacationing at the beach. We should remind our patients to
stay protected from the sun
when spending time outside, especially patients who are on medications that may cause extra photo-sensitivity. These medications include:
Benzoyl Peroxide ● Carbamazepine ● Coal Tar ● Isotretinoin ● Sulfonamides (i.e. Bactrim) ● Tetracyclines ● Tazarotene ● Tretinoin
different types of UV
rays from the sun that affect our skin in different ways. UVA rays account for most of the radiation that reaches Earth’s surface. These rays play a role in tanning, skin aging and wrinkling. They also
contribute to the development of skin cancer
. When patients are on one of the medications listed above, their sensitivity to UVA rays is affected. UVB rays do not reach the earth as much as UVA rays, but they are more intense. UVB rays
cause skin redness and sunburns
. UVB rays play a major role in the development of skin cancer. Broad spectrum sunscreens that protect us from both UVA and UVB rays are most recommended.
sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or 30
. Higher SPFs have no added benefit. Look for broad spectrum coverage sunscreens with the “Seal of Approval”. Sunscreen should be
applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun
and reapplied every two hours or right after swimming or excessive sweating.