Sun Safety

Use sunscreen

Dr. Hughes advises you to use sunscreens, protective clothing and hats, especially between the hours of 11 to 3 (during daylight saving time)! Do it summer and winter. Don’t forget dark sunglasses to help prevent cataracts. Remember it takes a teaspoon of sunscreen to cover the face. If you insist and want a safe tan, use artificial tanning creams (dihydroxyacetone) to produce a sophisticated look.

Please avoid tanning parlors; their UVA light penetrates deeply and causes horrible photodamage.

There is evidence that suggests a tiny bit of sunlight may help cutaneous T-cells respond to immune stimuli in the skin via dermal vitamin D3 synthesis, but overdoing this can be a dangerous source of vitamin D, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. New research shows vitamin D plays a preventative role in certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, and even diabetes. (In the southern United States, 5-30 minutes of sunlight to the arms and legs twice weekly supplies adequate vitamin D.) The Academy’s advice: take a multiple vitamin (adults should take 1000 units of vitamin D3 daily, children 400 units daily), use sun screens, and drink vitamin D-fortified milk and orange juice.

So do it right, not like the poor guy on the left! Remember that sunbathing wrinkles the skin and causes skin cancer. Also, the closer to the equator or the higher the altitude, the more intense the sun.

A new concern is “asymmetrical facial damage” caused by UVA radiation passing though the side windows of automobiles. Window glass screens out all UVB; front windshields (with a plastic laminate) screen out UVA but the side and rear windows are not laminated and let 60% of UVA pass through.

Dr. Hughes recommends the use of the new photo-stabilized sunscreens containing octocrylene. The higher the SPF, the better! These sunscreens remain active against UVA and UVB during prolonged UV exposure.


Sun intensity