|ALEXANDER HANTEL, MD
EDWARD CANCER CENTER
Yes, it's cold outside. And yes, you will want to keep that sunscreen handy. Wonder why? Check out these five common sunscreen myths:
Myth #1: Sunscreen is for sunny, summer days
According to Alexander Hantel, MD, director of Edward Cancer Center, "Leave off the sunscreen at any time of year and you increase your risk of skin cancer. The sun can do damage even on overcast days. That's especially true when there's snow, which can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun's rays."
Myth #2: Stay indoors and you won't need sunscreen.
Even if you spend most of your time inside, you can benefit from sun protection. UV radiation can pass through windows and damage your skin as you relax on your enclosed porch. You're not immune from the effects of the sun while driving either. Ever notice those brown spots on your left arm after a car trip?
Myth #3: Only fair-skinned people need to worry about sunscreen
Everyone needs the protection of sunscreen. People of all skin colors can get skin cancer.
Myth #4: All sunscreens are created equal and if I put it on once in the morning, I'm good for the day.
Choose a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that's at least SPF 30. Reapply about every two hours or as indicated on the label. And throw out any sunscreens that are past their expiration dates.
Myth #5: Sunscreen is all the protection I need.
If you'll be outdoors for a while consider wearing a brimmed hat, sunglasses and lip balm, in addition to sunscreen.
Want to reduce your risk of many skin cancers and help your skin stay younger looking? Make sunscreen part of your daily routine.
For more information about skin cancer and treatment, visit www.edward.org.