Confessions of a Sun-Loving Dermatology PA

This is very difficult for a dermatology provider to admit but to be completely honest…I LOVE the sun! More specifically, I love being active outside. My weekends are generally planned around running or races, paddleboarding on a clear day is a must and summer Saturdays on the boat are the best!  No one will ever be able to convince me that Florida isn’t the greatest place to live! However, the very real dichotomy of my life is that I spend a large portion of my work days seeing patients who have developed skin cancer or other sun related maladies related to too much time outdoors.

10623343_10204816267510365_1830139977521431110_oIs it possible to rectify such polarity? I believe there is! My next series of blog posts will help all of my fellow outdoor lovers protect from the damaging effects of the sun (in a realistic way).

The very first and most essential tool is DAILY SUNSCREEN. We all know the importance of lathering on sunscreen for a day at the beach or at a park. However, what most people fail to realize is the amount of incidental sun we receive every day from such activities as driving, walking through parking lots, getting the mail, etc. These seemingly small amounts of time in the sun add up fast and largely contribute to sun damage and premature aging. It is SO important to get in the habit of applying a daily sunscreen to the face, chest, tops of hands and for those with less hair…the top of the head. The key is finding one you like and will actually use and that’s where we can help!

At Sand Lake Dermatology Center, we recommend a sunscreen with an10308248_10152425695027733_468888127836572636_n (1) SPF of at least 30, broad spectrum, and preferably with zinc or titanium. We also recommend using a stand-alone sunscreen even if your makeup has SPF. One of my favorites is Elta MD UV Clear because it is everything the average sunscreen isn’t (thick, greasy, scented, etc.) and I can wear it every day under my makeup. It is also great for acne or rosacea prone skin. Even my husband uses it so no excuses guys! We carry lots of other options including those with tint (Elta UV Daily or Intellishade), ones that are great for outdoors (I like Elta UV Sport), and ones for super sensitive skin (Elta UV Physical)…and those are just a few!

One of my newest favorites is the Colorescience Sunforgettable mineral sunscreen brush. This product is awesome! It’s a mineral based powder that is SPF 50 and it is perfect for reapplying OVER your makeup. There isn’t much of a tint and it’s great for when you are on the go and need a sun protective touch up.

With so many great options to consider, you are bound to find one that works for you. You don’t have to change your outdoor lifestyle but be sure to wear your daily sunscreen to protect your skin.

Coming up next: The antioxidant secret!

By: Theresa Helsel, MS, MPAS, PA-C


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