• What to Look For in a Sunscreen

    Sunscreen

    The summer months are approaching, which means more time spent outside in the sun. Soaking up the sun may feel good, but it can be a disaster for your skin. Sun exposure leads to wrinkles, skin discoloration, and, most importantly, skin cancer . A good sunscreen can help you reduce the dangerous impacts of the sun on your skin, but with so many products on the market, how can you find the right one for you? Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re choosing sunscreen.

    SPF 30+

    SPF stands for sun protection factor . It denotes a product’s ability to protect you from sun damage. For instance, if a product has an SPF of 30, it allows you to stay in the sun 30 times longer than you would be able to without sunscreen without getting burned. Most people should use an SPF of 30 when they plan to be out in the sun. If you have fair skin, consider using a product with an even higher SPF. 

    Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen

    Sunscreens can be classified into two major types: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens contain special ingredients that act as filters and reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration to the skin.  Physical Sunscreens, most often referred to as sunblocks, are products containing ingredients such a titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which physically block ultraviolet radiation. If you have sensitive skin, Physical sunscreen should be your choice.

    Water-Resistance

    Applying sunscreen is one part of the battle. Getting it to stay on is another. Swimming, bathing, and sweating all cause sunscreen to rinse away. If the sunscreen offers water resistance, you will see “40 minutes” or “80 minutes” after the words “water resistant.” This tells you how long your skin can be wet or sweaty before you need to reapply. Sunscreen cannot be waterproof or sweat proof. You’ll no longer see these words on sunscreen labels.

    Broad-Spectrum Protection

    Your skin needs protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Look for a product that is labeled “broad spectrum.” In the past, some people avoided products that contain PABA, an ingredient that blocks UVB rays, because of skin irritation. However, PABA has been refined and is now safe for most skin types.

    If you need help selecting a sunscreen, ask your dermatologist during your next appointment at Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology . Our Salt Lake City dermatologists’ office can help you understand how to protect your skin from the sun and offer treatments for existing sun damage, like chemical peels and skin cancer care. Make your appointment today by calling  (801) 266-8841.

  • What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

    Sun screen

    Millions of Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and the most common type diagnosed is basal cell carcinoma, or BCC. This type of skin cancer affects the basal cells of the skin, which are found in the deepest layer of the epidermis. If these cells experience uncontrolled lesions or growths, a BCC can develop. BCC can appear in a variety of ways, including as open sores, shiny bumps, scars, pink growths, and red patches.

    This type of skin cancer is closely related to ultraviolet, or UV, exposure. Oftentimes, a person with BCC has experienced a combination of mild UV exposure over a long period of time and intense UV exposure from time to time. It is rare for BCC to metastasize, or grow beyond the initial site, but it can be disfiguring. A dermatologist can diagnose BCC, offer treatment solutions, and suggest ways to help prevent skin cancer in the future.

    The dermatology team at Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology is here to help you understand and address skin problems, including basal cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer. To schedule an appointment at our Salt Lake City office, please call (801) 266-8841.

  • Understanding the Dangers of UVA and UVB Rays

    beachware

    The sun is a welcome sight at any time of year, especially during a long, chilly winter. However, along with the warmth and cheer sunshine brings, the sun poses a risk with its dangerous ultraviolet rays. Both long- and shortwave ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, leading to problems including sunburn, fine lines and wrinkles, and eventually even skin cancer . Keep reading to understand the differences between UVA and UVB rays, including how they each affect the health of your skin.

    UVA Rays

    95% of the UV radiation that reaches the surface of the Earth consists of UVA rays . UVA rays are less intense than UVB rays but are as much as 50 times more prevalent. No matter what time of day or year it is, UVA rays are present with the same amount of intensity and can cut through clouds and glass. In the past, researchers knew that UVA rays contributed significantly to aging and wrinkling of the skin but thought they did not play a large role in the areas where skin cancers occur. Recent studies, however, have shown that UVA rays damage skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis, the area where most skin cancers form. UVA rays are present in tanning booths as well as in natural light, which is why your dermatologist will tell you there is no such thing as a safe tan.

    UVB Rays

    UVB rays are the cause of most skin reddening and sunburn, damaging the outermost layers of your skin. Though UVB rays are most prevalent in the U.S. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from April through October, they can burn your skin at any time of year. In fact, reflective surfaces including snow bounce back up to 80% of UVB rays, which means your skin is exposed twice. This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to wear sunscreen on a year-round basis. UVB rays play a significant role in the formation of skin cancer.

    Take steps to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays by wearing sunscreen and visiting Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City . Our experienced dermatologists will examine your skin for a thorough overview of your health. Call us at (801) 266-8841 today.

  • Raising Skin Cancer Awareness

    In the past 31 years, more people have received skin cancer diagnoses than all other types of cancers combined. Even though anyone can develop skin cancer, people who spend more time in the sun or who naturally have fairer skin have a greater chance of developing skin cancer. The best way to protect against skin cancer is by wearing plenty of sunscreen, brimmed hats, and protective sunglasses.

    In this video, PGA golfer Brian Davis shares his experience with skin cancer. As he explains, spending a lifetime of playing golf outdoors resulted in him being treated six times for various skin cancers. This experience inspired him and other PGA tour members to work with the Skin Cancer Foundation and raise awareness on skin cancer prevention.

    Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology offers a range of skin care products for Salt Lake City dermatology patients. Call (801) 266-8841 to learn more.

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