Health Watch - Winter Skin: Sun Exposure

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about the effects of winter weather on your skin. You may not feel the heat of the sun on your skin during the winter, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about sun protection.

Dr. Kent Aftergut, a UT Southwestern Medical Center dermatologist, says sunblock is effective for preventing skin damage that can lead to skin cancer and aging – if you use it properly. You need to apply sunblock liberally at least half an hour before you go out in the sun. Use a broad-spectrum sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Use sunblock whenever you go outside, even in winter. You can use sublock with an SPF of at least 15 if you’re not going to be out for more than 15 minutes. Use sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher if you’re going to be out longer. Don’t forget lip balm with sunscreen, especially when you’re out on the ski slopes.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.


January 2010

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