Skin Danger Zones: Sun Damage Where You Least Expect It

Information courtesy of Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt,

Sunny Palm Tree BranchesSpending the day basking in the sun? You are likely to protect yourself from sun exposure. But what about everyday? Sun damage can burn its mark when and where you least expect it. Are you really protecting your skin day in and out? Applying your daily facial moisturizer with SPF is not all it takes to protect yourself against harmful rays.

As we approach warmer weather, Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt gives a rundown of often ignored areas and locations where you need protection from the sun.

Commonly Ignored Areas on Your Body

Sunny Beach

You have prepped for a day out in the sun. But have you covered all the bases? When slathering on sun block, there are certain areas people

tend to forget to protect. Be mindful ofcommonly ignored areas including your feet, lips, hands, back of the ears, chest/neck, lips and your scalp. “The chest is an area commonly affected by sun damage and wrinkles—but not commonly protected,” explains Dr. Baxt. “Be sure to properly protect these areas prior to stepping out into the sun. Wear protective clothing to cover up your skin from the sun.” Keep in mind, a light bathing suit cover-up does not protect your skin from harmful rays. “On a day out in the sun, apply sunscreen every hour —even when wearing a cover-up.”

Rain or Shine

Who needs sun protection on a cloudy day? We all do.  If the sun is hiding, it doesn’t mean you aren’t being exposed to it. Hazy days are common days for sun burns, the UV rays come right through the clouds.  Don’t forget your sun protection! Despite your perception of the climate, you may end up exposing yourself to more damaging rays. Whether in an urban or beach setting, the sun can affect you come rain or shine. Feeling a bit chilly from the wind? You can still get a sun burn even on a cool day. Protect yourself.

Indoor Exposure

Whether in a car, at the office or at home, UVA rays through a window may cause serious damage to your skin. “When driving, the left side of your face and hands are exposed to UVA rays through the windshield, dab on products with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect yourself.” Sitting next to a window and reading a book may seem harmless, but indoor sun exposure may lead to sun damage. Consider your daily locations and travel arrangements and protect yourself accordingly.

Reflecting Rays

Meeting a friend for a quick outdoor lunch on your break? You purposefully sit under an umbrella assured you are fully protecting yourself. However—the rays of the sun reflect off concrete. Sitting under an umbrella should not be your method of sun protection. “Protecting yourself from damaging rays not only requires using products—but requires proper knowledge. The more you know, the better equipped you are to protect yourself in all areas, at all times.”

About the Expert:

Rebecca Baxt, MD, MBA, FAAD is a Board Certified Dermatologist specializing in both cosmetic and general dermatology for adults and children. She also has a particular interest in acne and rosacea. For more information, please visit or visit Baxt Cosmedical Facebook Fan Page.


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