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Protecting your skin during summer activities

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— It is the season for sun exposure!

Whether you plan for it or not—we are all catching lots of rays this time of year.

However local dermatologists at the South Bend Clinic believe there are easy ways to help prevent skin damage to allow our skin to be happy and healthy all summer long.

“Sun exposure is good to a certain extent as you know we need vitamin D for our bodies to function. But too much sun exposure can lead to premature aging, age related spots, fine lines and wrinkles and skin cancer,” said nurse practitioner at the South Bend Clinic, Jean Bahu.

Bahu has been a nurse practitioner for the past 5 years, only over the past two years did she specialize into dermatology.

Bahu’s love for the aesthetics and care behind skincare pushes her to educate her community.

If you think about it, avoiding the sun is not as easy as you would think.

“Even on an overcast day, sun rays are still coming through the atmosphere still penetrating through the clouds,” said Bahu.

Being diligent to take care of our bodies largest organ, the skin, is vital.

This reason is why dermatologists say using and especially, reapplying sunscreen is the best way to protect against the big C-skin cancer.

“Wearing a sunscreen. And I recommend all my patients to wear sunscreen every single day,” said Bahu “A sunblock with SPF of 30 or higher, that protects from both UVA and UVB rays.”

People should be reapplying every two hours after you first apply 15 minutes before sun exposure.

You can also wear a wide brim or baseball cap along with SPF infused rash guards to keep prevention easy.

“Sun rays can penetrate our eyes and cause skin cancer around the eye area so sun glasses are also very important,” said Bahu.

If you do end up being burnt, you are urged to focus on skin hydration.

“Using an aloe based moisturizer or aloe itself is soothing enough.”

On a different note, chlorine, the main chemical used in pools, can also affect your skin.

“Chlorine is a naturally occurring element. And it is used to get bacteria and microbes found in pools. But chlorine can also cause a lot of dryness and irritation to the skin. It can also strip our hair and nails of our natural oils,” said Bahu.

Pools might be a huge refuge for many in the intense heat—however the chemicals can be stripping to the skin.

However, Bahu says prevention is always key to protecting your skin.

“One thing you can do to prevent your hair from becoming dry before going into a pool is to put in a leave in conditioner. Preferably oil based is a good one. Another thing you can do after getting out of the pool is rinse off right away in fresh water. So try to get into a shower as soon as you can and then cover your body with a great moisturizer.”

Keeping an eye on all past and new moles, freckles, and lesions by focusing on the ABC’s.

“A meaning asymmetrical lesions, Border change, color change, diameter change and then an evolving lesion.”

If you do have questions or concerns about a specific spot on your body or other skincare questions, you are urged to contact your dermatologist or doctor.

Following these guidelines will help to keep your skin healthy year long.

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