Should You Wear Sunscreen in the Winter?
- Posted on: Dec 8 2014
YES! The change in seasons from Summer to Fall to Winter can lead you to believe that the sun’s rays are less harmful. That is simply not true. Yes, we may spend less time outdoors in the Fall and Winter than we do in the summer, but the sun’s rays can still be damaging when we are exposed. If you are a skier, snowboarder or enjoy other snow based activities, then you are at an even higher risk for sun damage. The snow can reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
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Professional snowboarder and Olympic bronze medalist Chris Klug, an organ transplant recipient, is serving as a SPOTlighter with the American Academy of Dermatology’s (Academy) SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative.
From AAD.org Organ donation is a life-saving gift to people with serious medical conditions. After surgery, organ transplant recipients can often return to their daily activities thanks to medications that suppress the immune system to prevent organ rejection. However, taking these life-saving medicines also puts recipients at a higher risk for skin cancer, and skin cancer among recipients tends to be more aggressive and spreads more quickly than in other patients.
That’s why professional snowboarder and Olympic bronze medalist Chris Klug, an organ transplant recipient, is serving as a SPOTlighter with the American Academy of Dermatology’s (Academy) SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative. Chris was diagnosed in 1991 with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare, degenerative bile duct condition. In July 2000, he received a liver transplant and was back on the World Cup circuit four months later. In 2002, Chris won a bronze medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.
“Organ transplant recipients have been given a second chance at life. We shouldn’t let skin cancer take that away.”
“I have to be especially vigilant about skin cancer since I’m often outdoors and I have a family history of skin cancer,” Chris said. “One of the most valuable lessons I learned through the transplant experience was to not take life for granted. Organ transplant recipients have been given a second chance at life. We shouldn’t let skin cancer take that away.”
Research shows that 20 years after receiving an organ, recipients who live in moderate climates have a 40 percent increased risk of developing skin cancer. Transplant medication plays a key role, but unprotected sun exposure also affects a person’s risk. The Academy recommends everyone, including transplant recipients, follow these tips for preventing skin cancer:
Use Sunscreen throughout the Fall and Winter! Sun Protection Facts:
- Even on Cloudy Days up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds.
- Repeated exposure to UVA and UVB rays causes damage to the cells of the epidermis resulting in the production of wrinkles, age spots and actual skin cancers.
- Cumulative sun damage leads to the loss of subcutaneous fat causing the skin to lose tone and sag.
- Physical Sun blocks (Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide) provide broad spectrum protection blocking both UVA and UVB rays and are gentle enough for daily use. Try DermaSpaRx Sun Protection System SPF 30 or SPF 45.
- Sunblocks are only effective if you use them appropriately.
- Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn.
- Apply 15-20 minutes before sun exposure to allow a protective film to develop. Re-apply every 2 hours.
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