Sun damage still a concern in the spring

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Sunburn is a common concern during the summer months, but it is also something you need to watch out for in the spring.

As the days get longer, more time is spent outdoors exposed to harmful UV rays. It’s these rays that are the cause of sunburns and skin damage. If you don’t take proper precautions it could lead to long-term impacts including wrinkles, sunspots and skin cancer.

While we are more aware of how much sun we get in the summer, springtime sun can be just as harmful.

“In April you can have some cloud cover which can protect us from some of the ultraviolet radiation. In August there’s less of that happening and so you are out in direct sunlight,” explains Dr. Dara Spearman, a dermatologist at Parkview, “It also has to do with the time of day that you are out. If you are out between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that’s when you are getting the highest dose of UV.”

If you are going to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time, take breaks in the shade and wear sunscreen and remember to reapply often. While some cases of sunburn require medical attention with severe blistering or pain, most cases can be soothed at home.

“Cool showers or baths can help with that burning sensation,” adds Dr. Spearman, “After your shower or bath, getting out and patting your skin dry but leaving a bit of water on there, and then putting an emollient or moisturizer on can help that dry sensation. Using emollients with Aloe Vera or soy can help soothe sunburns.”

Dr. Spearman recommends against using topical lidocaine, as it can cause irritation to already damaged skin or lead to contact dermatitis, but ibuprofen and aspirin can be used if the sunburn is painful.

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