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FOX Medical Team

Beat the summer heat by protecting your skin

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ATLANTA -

Between all the sunburns, the breakouts, and the chlorine, summer can do a number on your skin. You can beat the heat, and one dermatologist says it starts by protecting your skin.

Atlanta dermatologist Rutledge Forney says pick up an inexpensive bottle of sunscreen, and look for the words "broad spectrum" and products that include UVA and UVB protection.    

"SPF is very important. You'll hear that a 15 is the same as a 30, but the problem is how you apply it," said Forney.

Most people put on a quarter to a half of the amount they need. They apply a squirt, when they should be using a palm full.

"So I tell all of us, we're human, we're not going to do it perfectly, get the highest number you can because you need that effectiveness," Forney said.
 
If you have sensitive skin, go for a physical or non-chemical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. For oily skin, go for "dry" or "sheer" sunscreens. Forney says if you can get a tan, no matter how dark your skin, you need sun protection.

"Melanomas are particularly virulent in darker skin people.  And so they want to protect themselves from the sun just as anybody who is redheaded and white skinned," said Forney.

If dry skin is an issue, there is good news.  The Georgia humidity might actually help, as well as saltwater.

"People who suffer from eczema and psoriasis often find out that being at the beach, and being in the sun, and the water, getting the minerals from the water can be very helpful to your skin," Forney said.
 
However, chlorine dries out both skin and hair. So, rinse off immediately when you get out of the pool, and throw on a hat.

"I think a hat becomes an easy way to protect yourself, and your ears and neck from sun in a way that you can instantly put it on and it's instantly effective.," said Forney.

If you're a woman, you know the heat can melt your makeup, so you may want to lighten up. Instead of a cream foundation, switch to a tinted moisturizer. And instead of covering your oily spots with powder, try blotting the shine. Many women also swear by waterproof mascara.  

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