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Skin Cancer Still a Threat Throughout the Winter

During the summer, the heat directly on your skin is a pretty good reminder that you’re exposing yourself to the damaging effects of sunlight. Unfortunately, winter’s cold weather leads many people to forget it is important to continue to cover up and protect exposed skin, despite chilly temperatures or cloudy skies.

Regardless of how cold it feels outside, sun rays are just as damaging during the winter as they are throughout the hottest summers. In fact, if you’re in snowy areas, you are at a greater risk of harm, as snow reflects more than three quarters of the sun’s UV rays back toward you.

Did you know only 10% of wrinkles are caused by aging? 90% are due to sun exposure.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the worst side-effect of too much sun. As skin is overexposed to UV radiation, skin cells can become damaged and begin to mutate over an extended period of time. These cells may be eliminated by your body’s immune system, but when they are not, they have the potential to become cancerous.

According to, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon every year. As one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer and the number is rising every year, preventative care and early detection are extremely important.

Daily moisturizers and sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are a great way to reduce your risk for skin damage. These products contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. One specific skin care product we recommend is Obagi’s Sunshield 50™ which is thin, light-weight and paraben and paba-free. The Plastic Surgery Group in Albany can help you choose the skin care products that are the right fit for your skin type and the lifestyle you lead.

“We see a number of patients here everyday who are choosing to take the steps necessary to lower their risks for skin cancer,” said Ruth Trinchillo, one of our in-house estheticians. “With all consultations for skin care treatment, we reinforce the importance of proactive protection not only for our patients, but for their extended families, from the youngest children to adults who have spent decades in the sun.”

During the winter season, the sun’s rays do not stop shining and cancer diagnoses do not slow. Whether outside building snowmen or skiing in higher elevations where the sun is more intense, it is extremely important to make sure your skin care protection regimen is continued year-round.

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