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Dermatologists: Daily SPF needed even in winter months

12/16/2013

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Scarf? Check. Gloves? Check. Parka? Check. Sunscreen? Wait … what?

While the amount of sunlight we see may be less when the months get colder, it’s just as easy to get sunburned in the winter as it is in the summer.

“Most people associate sunscreen with the hot, sunny summer months, but it’s really something that should be a daily, year-round habit,” said Pamela Ross, physician assistant with Summit Dermatology, an affiliate of Summit Health.

Finding a brand and type that you like will make it easier to fit into your routine, she said. Sunscreens now come in creams, oils, lotions, sticks, wipes and more.

Dermatologists recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 year-round and follow the instructions provided when it comes to re-applying regularly.

“It’s especially important to put on sunscreen before participating in any winter sports because the snow reflects  and intensifies the sun’s rays which can cause sunburn,” Ross said. “A lip balm with SPF is also recommended.”

General sunscreen tips to follow:

  • Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Liberally and evenly apply to all exposed skin.
  • Moisturizing sunscreen also protects against harsh winter winds.
  • Carry travel-sized versions for quick reapplication.

Summit Dermatology is located in the Summit Health Center – Building 2, 757 Norland Ave., Suite 204, Chambersburg. For more information, visit SummitHealth.org/healthyskin or call (717) 263-8463.

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