The One Thing You Didn’t Know Sunscreen Prevents

The One Thing You Didn’t Know Sunscreen Prevents

We know you hear it all the time: when your skin is exposed to the sun - without any protection - you are damaging your skin. As a Nashville dermatologist, I am the first to tell my patients that it is absolutely essential.

But did you know that you could be damaging your DNA too?

For a long time, there’s been strong evidence that sunscreen has the ability to reduce the potential for sunburn and damage to your skin. However, there have been limited conclusions that have shown whether they are also effective at reducing DNA damage. For dermatologists, this has been needed for a long time, in order for us to communicate the absolute necessity of sunscreen.

In research published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine that reviewed studies carried out between 1950-2015 on the topic, the authors evaluated how effective sunscreen was at preventing DNA damage when applied before sun exposure. In all 10 studies carried out, significantly reduced levels of DNA damage were found in sunscreen-protected skin. Given that most of skin cancers and melanomas are caused by gene mutations that are induced by UV rays, this review shows that sunscreen is more important for protection against skin cancer than you might think.

So, if you needed yet another reason to convince yourself that yes, your Nashville dermatologist is right - here it is! You can easily minimize continuous DNA damage to cells that have already been partially affected - all it takes is applying sunscreen.

My top tip: I always tell my Nashville patients to apply a mineral-based sunscreen (zinc or titanium) every morning before leaving the bathroom. Our faces are exposed to the sun’s rays every single day of the year, even on cloudy days and through windows, since the long rays the sun produces passes through both clouds and windows. If you are frequently out in the sun for sports, summer activities, I would advise applying a mineral-based sunscreen like this one, and to take along a zinc-based spray sunscreen like this favorite for reapplication.

Want to learn more about how you can prevent skin and DNA damage, protect yourself effectively in Nashville and reduce your chance of developing skin cancer? Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine

Related Buzz: 3 Reasons You Should Always Wear Sunscreen, How Well Do You Know Your UV Rays?

Share this

Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD