Yale Medicine dermatologist shares importance of wearing sunscreen ahead of beach season

Memorial Day weekend is the official start of beach season and possibly because of that, May 27 is National Sunscreen Day. Local dermatologists are urging residents to protect their skin from sun damage ahead of the holiday weekend and the summer season.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2022, 11:54 PM

Updated 725 days ago

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Memorial Day weekend is the official start of beach season and possibly because of that, May 27 is National Sunscreen Day. Local dermatologists are urging residents to protect their skin from sun damage ahead of the holiday weekend and the summer season.
Even on overcast days, dermatologists say it is important to think about your skin and grab sunscreen if you're heading out into the sun for prolonged periods of time.
"It's estimated that up to 80% of UV radiation can still reach the Earth's surface despite the presence of clouds," said Yale Medicine dermatologist Dr. Kathleen Suozzi.
Suozzi says that a baseball cap isn't doing as much as you thought to block the rays.
"UV can reflect off water, it can reflect off concrete, and so even if you have a hat on you can have exposure to your face from below," she said.
UV exposure can lead to burns, wrinkles, spots and skin cancer.
"I had cancer cells that ran the circumference of about 5 inches. So that was a big, I had like almost my whole cheek taken off," said Stacey Mann, of Woodbridge.
Woodbridge says time in tanning beds left her with a facial melanoma. She says it took three years, and three different surgeries, to recover.
"Lots and lots of laser treatments, to minimize my scar and to be where I am today comfortable with the way I look," she said.
Mann now protects her skin year-round and advocates for others to do the same.
"I highly recommend mineral sunscreens. For all of us in the cancer world, that's what we go with," Mann said.
Dermatologists gives the edge to mineral sunscreens over chemical ones as well, but Suozzi says the best sun block is the one you'll actually apply every two hours.
"It's far better for us to prevent the sun damage and prevent the appearance of skin cancers, than to have to turn to surgeries to reverse the skin damage after it appears," said Suozzi.
Yale dermatologists recommend at least SPF 30 sunscreen whenever you're going to be outside for an extended period of time. Dermatologists also recommend sun-blocking UPF clothing to keep the rays off your skin.


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