Most people understand that spending too much time in the sun can cause premature aging but are often less aware of its association with skin cancer. They usually do not think about protecting their skin during the winter or on a rainy day because they assume the sun is not dangerous in cold or cloudy weather. The sun’s UV rays can be intense even when the temperature is below zero, or it continues to rain.
When in doubt about potential skin damage due to the sun, navigate to the Environmental Protection Agency website and enter your ZIP code under the UV Index Search section. The results will return a number between 1 and 11 that helps you determine your sun exposure risk for the day. Here is what each range of numbers means:
The CDC recommends taking active steps to protect your skin anytime the UV Index is 3 or higher.
Be certain to follow each of these guidelines to protect your skin from UV-ray damage:
Apply a sunscreen product marked with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 approximately 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours as long as you remain outdoors, and choose a water-resistant type of sunscreen if you plan to go swimming. Remember to apply every day, all year long.
Use UV Alert stickers or set an alarm on your phone to remind you when to reapply your sunscreen.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face, neck, ears, and eyes.
Avoid being in the sun directly between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when UV rays are most intense.
Remain in the shade as much as possible.
Avoid UV tanning beds and lying in the sun to tan your skin.
Wear lightweight, breathable clothing in the summer months to avoid overheating.
Do not allow babies to spend time in the sun until they are at least six months old, at which point a parent should apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of skin.
Examine your skin at least once a month and report any changes to your dermatologist as soon as possible. To learn the signs to look for, visit our Skin Cancer Types page.
The CDC and SCF recommend that adults visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin check. Those with more than a few risk factors or who have had skin cancer in the past may need to schedule more frequent appointments.
With this form you are submitting a request for an appointment; you are not scheduling an appointment. Appointment requests will be granted on a first come, first serve basis and we do our best to respond to all requests within two business days. Anne Arundel Dermatology’s online appointment request application is for routine appointments only. For all other concerns please contact your physician’s office.
If you need to reset your Pass Code or need further assistance with accessing your patient portal, please visit the patient portal page.