10 Smart Ways to Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk
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- 1. Stop trying to get a "healthy" tan from the sun.
- 2. Know when to stay out of the sun completely.
- 3. Learn the truth about UVA and UVB rays.
- 4. Know the limits of your SPF.
- 5. Try the new-and-improved sun-protection ingredients.
- 6. Remember when to apply -- and reapply -- sunscreen.
- 7. Figure out how much sunscreen you need.
- 8. Wear a hat.
- 9. Wear clothes with built-in protection.
- 10. Use Retin-A to repair sun damage.
- Sun-Proof Your Body with Dietary Supplements
2. Know when to stay out of the sun completely.
2. Know when to stay out of the sun completely. Your vulnerability to the sun skyrockets after any kind of intensive facial. "Many of the treatments remove the top layer of your skin, at a minimum. Without it, you are more likely to burn," says Kelly Cordoro, MD, a professor of dermatology at the University of Virginia. "So avoid the sun entirely afterward." Just how long you should wait depends on the kind of treatment you've had. "After noninvasive laser treatments such as microdermabrasion and light glycolic peels, don't get any direct sun for a week," advises dermatologist Christine Lee, MD, director of the East Bay Laser & Skin Care Center in Walnut Creek, California. (The same advice holds true if you've had laser hair removal.) "And if you're doing microderm or glycolic treatments at home, avoid the sun as much as possible for two or three days afterward."
Dr. Lee explains that more invasive procedures -- such as laser resurfacing and deep chemical peels -- require patients to stay indoors for two weeks; after that, exposure to direct or indirect sunlight should be limited as much as possible for three to six months. When you must go out, pour on the lotion and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Otherwise, you could cause serious damage. To be on the safe side, talk to your dermatologist about how careful you should be after any kind of facial treatment.
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