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Protecting Your Skin in the Spring

Skin and Sunscreen Skin and Sunscreen
Longevity By Nature

The warmer air of spring often brings tank tops, shorts and sandals. As you expose your skin that has been hiding under layers for a couple of months, issues can arise, and it can be difficult to take care of your skin. Skin health is important, as our skin is our largest organ and our greatest protection from the elements in our environment. Proper sunscreen use, bug spray and wound healing medications will all help you keep your skin healthy.

Why Should I Wear Sunscreen?

Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This ultraviolet radiation can result in skin aging, sunburn and melanoma, a type of cancer. Sunscreen can help prevent the adverse outcomes of enjoying the sunshine. Simply using a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 for the first 18 years of life reduces melanoma by 78 percent.1 It has also been found to prevent painful sunburns and reduce the pace of skin aging.1

How Often Should I Wear Sunscreen and How Should I Apply it?

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends that everyone should wear sunscreen if they plan on going outside. Even on days that are cloudy or cold, the sun’s rays can still penetrate your skin. To fully cover your body, the average adult needs about 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover their skin. Sunscreen should be applied to dry skin 15 minutes before going outside and should be reapplied every two hours after. It should also be reapplied after any activities that might cause the sunscreen to come off, such as swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to apply it to commonly missed areas, such as your ears, tops of your feet and your lips!2

What Types of Sunscreen Should I Use?

Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays.2 Higher SPF’s block slightly more of the rays, but no SPF can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays.2

What Other Ways Can I Protect My Skin?

The warm weather not only invites people outside, but it invites bugs as well. This often leads to pesky bug bites. Most bug bites are harmless, but few can cause diseases such as Lyme disease. Insect repellent with 20-30 percent of DEET on exposed skin can prevent many bugs, including mosquitoes and ticks, from landing on you and biting. Bug bites can also be prevented by wearing the proper clothing. If you are in an area with a high concentration of bugs, consider wearing long sleeves or a bug net. 3 If you have been bitten and are in pain, consider taking an over-the-counter painkiller. If your bites itch, you can use an ice pack or an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, such as hydrocortisone, to help reduce the itchiness. Ice packs can also be used to reduce the swelling of a bug bite.3

Small cuts and scrapes are also common injuries from exploring the blooming outdoors. If you have a small cut or scrape, it can be easily treated at home. If the cut is bleeding, apply a clean cloth with pressure to stop the bleeding. After the bleeding has stopped, wash the cut area with warm soap and water to remove any dirt and bacteria. Once the wound has been cleaned, apply an antiseptic lotion and cover the area with an adhesive bandage. The bandage should be dry, clean and changed often to prevent the wound from becoming infected.4

Antiseptic lotions vary in how effective they are at preventing infections and improving healing. One thing to consider is the use of a topical silver ointment, which can be applied to a wound to prevent infections and promote wound healing. Natural Path Silver Wings is a medical professional-founded company that specializes in colloidal silver.5 The company’s products are gelatin and animal-free, and they are the No. 1 selling pharmaceutical-grade colloidal silver on the market and have an FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) inspected manufacturing facility.5

Through proper sunscreen use, bug repellent and antiseptic lotions, enjoying the sunshine is possible without damaging your skin.


1 Stern RS, Weinstein MC, Baker SG. Risk Reduction for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer With Childhood Sunscreen Use. Archives of Dermatology. 1986;122(5):537-545. doi:10.1001/ARCHDERM.1986.01660170067022.

2 Sunscreen FAQs. Accessed January 12, 2022. www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs

3 Tips to prevent and treat bug bites. Accessed January 12, 2022. www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/injured-skin/bites/prevent-treat-bug-bites

4 Small Cuts and Scrapes | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Accessed January 12, 2022. www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/small-cuts-and-scrapes

5 Natural Path Silver Wings | WHY NPSW? Accessed January 13, 2022. https://npswsilver.com/why-npsw/.

Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction, with a special focus on nutrition during early life and pregnancy. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She is an assistant professor of neuroscience at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York, NY and is a visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University in New Jersey. Dr. Avena has written several books, including What to Eat When You’re Pregnant and What to Feed Your Baby and Toddler. She regularly appears as a science expert on the Dr. Oz Show, Good Day NY and The Doctors, as well as many other news programs. Her work has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Time Magazine for Kids, The New York Times, Shape, Men’s Health, Details, as well as many other periodicals. Dr. Avena blogs for Psychology Today, is a member of the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau and has the No. 2 most watched TED-ED Health talk, “How Sugar Affects Your Brain.” You can follow Dr. Avena on Twitter (@DrNicoleAvena), Facebook (www.facebook.com/DrNicoleAvena) and Instagram (@drnicoleavena), or visit www.drnicoleavena.com.