Summer skin care: 3 quick takes from the news

Summer skin care reaches its peak this month. Here are 3 important summer skin care stories in the news, to keep you and your healthy, beautiful skin up-to-date.

1 That sunscreen might not be working as well as it needs to.

Yes, we repeat our sunscreen message even more often than you need to reapply sunscreen itself. That’s because no other part of summer skin care (or year-round skin care, for that matter) is more important in preventing both skin cancer and premature aging. But of course sunscreen that doesn’t do its job — which is to provide you with broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection — might as well be no sunscreen at all. A recent Northwestern University study found that nearly 40 percent of the top-selling sunscreens on the market don’t meet American Academy of Dermatology standards, mostly due to overstating SPF or lacking sufficient water resistance. Prices for sunscreens can vary by a whopping 3000 percent, the study found. Your best bet? See your dermatologist for the best sunscreen for your skin and your budget.

2 Even if your sunscreen works, you may think you don’t need one.

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: everyone needs sunscreen, every day. Studies show, however, that people with dark skin — African Americans and Latinos in particular — are far less likely to use sunscreen on a regular basis than light-skinned people. They’re also far less likely to apply sunscreen to their children or teach children the importance of UV protection. It’s understandable, because most of us associate sun damage with sunburn — the visible reddening and peeling light-skinned people experience. But UV damage occurs just as often among dark-skinned people, with melanoma survival rates much lower because cancer is not often identified early enough. In people with dark skin, signs of skin cancer may more likely appear where they are least noticeable — on the soles of the feet, under the nails, on the scalp. If your skin is dark, please remember to use sunscreen and other UV protective measures on yourself and your children, and to schedule an annual skin check.

3 Blister care is part of summer skin care.

As the American Academy of Dermatology notes, summer is prime blister season. We wear sweet new sandals without breaking them in, or go for a hike or a run in ill-fitting shoes, or scorch our bare feet on hot sand or concrete. And blisters aren’t just for feet. Anywhere we experience chafing — from tight clothing, or sweat, or wet swimsuits — can see blisters form. “If you do get a blister, be patient and try to leave it alone,” says Dr. Anthony Rossi, a professor of dermatology at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “Most blisters heal on their own in one to two weeks. Don’t resume the activity that caused your blister until it’s healed.”

For advice on these or any summer skin care issues, contact us today!