Local skincare experts warn about the dangers of sunrays

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — We all want that summer glow, but it comes with a cost.

“A tan is actually a sign that you’re doing damage to your skin. That’s your skin reacting to those UV rays,” said Liz Wiest, local esthetician. “What I would say is that your health is more important.”

Wiest, who works at Peoria’s Sandia Salon and Spa, said how much sunscreen applied to skin determines the coverage.

“The biggest thing people get wrong when it comes to sunscreen is not applying enough,” Wiest said.

Daren Rauch, M.D., agreed.

“We kind of recommend about a teaspoon,” Rauch said.

Wiest said that can be three full finger lengths of product. She said she tells her clients that they have applied just enough sunscreen once it feels like they applied too much.

“Sun exposure is cumulative throughout your lifetime,” Dr. Rauch said, “so the more sun exposure you have, the higher risk you have of developing premature aging, skin cancers, and sunburn obviously.”

Rauch said there are two types of sunscreen people use: physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreen, like zinc and titanium, refract sunrays from skin. Chemical sunscreen, which contains avobenzone, absorbs the UV light, protecting skin.

Rauch said to regularly monitor moles and skin spots; they are the biggest indicators of skin cancer. He said there is an A-B-C-D-E method for monitoring skin moles:

  • A- asymmetry (when only one side of a mole changes)
  • B- borders (irregular borders on skin moles can be a red flag)
  • C- color changes
  • D- diameter (if a mole is greater than 6 millimeters, that could be an indicator)
  • E- evolution of a mole (any changes over time)

Finally, Dr. Rauch also said to avoid the sun if possible during the hottest hours of the day, usually 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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