Should You Wear Sunscreen in the Winter?
By: Hanna Sutton
As fall is beginning to fade into winter and days above sixty degrees begin to seem like a distant memory, our daily routines change. The days are shorter and cooler, we layer on thicker sweaters and scarves as the weeks pass by. However, there is one aspect of our routine that you may be changing that could have the potential to cause serious harm. As a dermatology practice, we always encourage sun protection when any skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, as a general population, we seem to be much more aware of this imperative aspect of preventative care during the hot summer months than when there’s a chilly nip in the air. One may argue that since the sun is further away from the Earth during the winter months, the harmful ultraviolet sun rays are not a threat to our skin, thus sunscreen is a much lower priority – however, this generalization is incorrect.
While the UV index does tend to be lower in the winter months, any UV rays are enough to cause irreparable damage to your skin. In fact, sun damage often occurs in the winter months because of the misconception that the sun cannot harm us when it is cold outside. Those who fail to take necessary precautions such as applying sunscreen, wearing hats, and staying in the shade when possible may actually experience an increased exposure to harmful UV rays because they are less aware of the potential harm. Though the rays may not feel as warm on your face as the July rays reflecting off the outdoor pool, snow and ice can just as effectively reflect these harmful beams of light. UVR always has the ability to do harm or cause more rapid aging when its victims are not properly protecting themselves.
Want to talk more about sun protection? Call Derick Dermatology at 847-381-8899 to schedule your skin exam today. One of our skilled practitioners can assess any pre-existing damage and give you helpful hints on how to best prepare for and prevent further harm. Winter is a time of love, peace, and joy, and your skin will love you for the extra time, care, and attention it receives from you this season.