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Protecting Your Skin During the Summer Months

Sunburned Skin at Beach | Dr. Kathleen J. SmithSummer has arrived, which means longer days, more recreational activities and the wearing of skimpy clothing or swimsuits. This is also the time to consider summer skin care. A variety of skin treatment options are available from Dr. Kathleen J. Smith, an Atlanta dermatologist.

Sunlight is important to human health, but excessive exposure to it can create a host of problems. The rays that emanate from the sun can result in the type of damage that can in turn cause the skin to lose its elasticity and, over time, to stretch and sag. Wrinkles, freckles and discoloration of the skin are all linked to sun damage, as is cancer. The incidence of melanoma, which is the fifth most prevalent type of cancer in the U.S., is known to be higher among those who experienced sunburns when they were younger.

One of the best ways to protect your skin is to resist the cultural obsession with tanning. This means exposing less of your body and covering more of it with hats and light clothing, and completely avoiding tanning beds. You should also avoid going outside between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays of the sun are at their peak. Anyone who wants to relax outside should do so under a tree or an umbrella.

It is wise to apply a sunscreen with a high protection number at least 30 minutes before participating in an outdoor activity. You may want to consider applying sunscreen in the evening in order to make the skin less susceptible to burning the following day. Also important to summer skin care is cleanliness and hydration, which is why you should clean your face twice a day, ideally using a toner, then apply a moisturizer. You can help your skin and the rest of your body by consuming plenty of fluids, preferably water or fresh fruit juices instead of soft drinks.

A sunburn that does occur needs immediate attention to reduce the possibility of further damage. A good homemade treatment involves the application of a solution of ice and skim milk to the burned area, and the use of aspirin to relieve the pain. Those in need of skin rejuvenation due to sun exposure or for any reason should consider the dermatological services provided by Dr. Kathleen J. Smith. She serves the greater Atlanta area, including North Atlanta, Belvedere Park, Chamblee, Decatur, Doraville, Druid Hills, North Druid Hills, East Point, Forest Park, Gresham Park, Panthersville, Redan, Sandy Springs and Tucker. Call Dr. Smith for an appointment at 404-357-9648.

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