Premier Health expert explains who should be wearing sunscreen and when

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Temperatures are expected to climb into the high 70s this week, which means you may have plans to head outside. But if you’re not careful, your time in the sun could cause some harmful side effects.

“We think of a burn as you touch something hot and you burn, you get a blister,” said Joseph Allen, a regional medical director with Premier Health. “Sunburn [is] the same thing, it’s just UV radiation as opposed to thermal radiation.”

Allen said while most people know the immediate effects of over exposure to the sun, there could be a big price to pay down the line if you don’t proactively take care of your skin. 

“We can get a lot of undesirable aesthetic effects. So, you know, it can cause wrinkles in the skin and cause the skin to look a little bit more leathery or old.” But what’s worse he said, is “You can have some skin cancers. So you know – basal cells, cancers and melanoma is the one we always worry about.”

Some of those things may not manifest until decades later and can be as simple as a one-time burn on the skin, or as severe as death if left untreated. And while spring may be a good time for a reminder, Allen advised, “Protect your skin all year. In the winter it’s easy because the sun’s not out as much, we’re covered up or bundled up. But even in the winter, if the sun’s out or what have you, and we have some exposed skin that’s out in the cold for a while, then [it] could possibly get exposed and get a sunburn.”

Allen recommends that everyone utilize sunscreen, especially in the coming months. He said even people with darker complexions or skin pigmentations who don’t tend to burn as easily should take proactive care of their skin. Your best bet, he said, is to pick up some sunblock with SPF and apply it before going out in the sun. 

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