(Glycolic, Beta and Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
Skin resurfacing through controlled chemical application
Chemical Peels have been
a mainstay of Dermatology for decades. Only in recent years have lasers attempted to replace these trusted and effective methods
of resurfacing your skin. Dr. Gary Rothfeld, a board Certified Dermatologist in NYC, Manhattan has experience
with both methods which allows him to tailor a treatment regimen that precisely resolves skin surface irregularities
and maintains smooth and luminous skin.
Pigmentation on the face, arms, chest,
hands. Fine lines and wrinkles. Acne Clogged Pores Rough skin Dull skin Discoloration|
do Chemical Peels work?
There are basically four major types of chemical
- Alpha Hydroxy (Glycolic Acid - other fruit and sugar based acids)
- Beta Hydroxy (Salicylic Acid)
- TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid)
Chemical peels work by "ungluing" the top layer of
damaged and discolored skin so it can peel away and reveal the fresh new skin beneath. By forcing the turnover of the cells,
the old dull and damaged cells peel off much more quickly.
Lighter superficial peels using Alpha Hydroxy acids such
as Glycolic Acid can be very effective in a series of "no downtime" procedures. Your skin will have a light pink
look and flaking or peeling may be unnoticeable. Superficial peels are ideal for improving pigmentation problems, fine wrinkles
and sun damage. They can be used anywhere on the face and body.
peels containing salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid) are especially
effective for those suffering from acne and oily skin.
Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate the pores as it is soluble in oil. Great for unclogging pores and improving acne.
All peels can be adjusted to your skin type and condition, making them extremely customizable according to Dr. Rothfeld at
NYC dermatology in Manhattan, New York
Dr. Rothfeld is meticulous in the selection and application of your chemical
Cosmelan has become the treatment of choice for melasma
and especially for sensitive skin types prone to hyperpigmentation from sun exposure, heat or blemishes. Cosmelan works by
blocking the action of the process that causes hyperpigmentation.
|Effective in all kinds of melasma and chloasma.|
|It can be used any time of the year.|
|Compatible with all types of skin.|
|It permits sun exposure without the risk
of spots appearing.|
|It is completely safe and does not include
TCA or hydroquinone.|
|There are minimal side effects (very little
redness and flaking).|
|Beneficial for acne patients by regularizing
|Skin becomes bright and rejuvenated with lightening of spots
and brown areas in just 10 days.|
Moderate medium-depth peels result in
a temporary all-over peeling with deeper pink tone to your skin for several days to a week. These peels are more effective
on moderate wrinkles, precancerous skin growths and more problematic pigmentation. Mostly used on the face, medium peels are typically TCA peels.
Usually a TCA peel will produce enough peeling that you may wish to stay
in for a few days. Discuss with Dr Gary Rothfeld at NYC Dermatologist which peel level works into your lifestyle.
What will a chemical peel feel like?
Dr. Rothfeld, a board certified dermatologist
at NYC Dermatology will first clean your skin of any oils. The chemical solution is either brushed on or applied with
a pad. You may feel a slight stinging as the peel solution penetrates your skin.
Once removed, your skin will be moisturized
and you will be advised to wear a sunscreen. Your skin will feel tight and will look rosy for a few hours to several days.
Your chemical peel will cause some flaking and peeling.
Chemical peels may be augmented with V Beam Laser for
resolving broken blood vessels and IPL Fotofacial for removing encapsulated or resistant pigmentation
NYC Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Gary Rothfeld, a dermatologist
in NYC. Offices in New York City. Dr. Rothfeld is a licensed Dermatologist with a New York
City office in Manhattan providing expert skin care, dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology services.
Skin resurfacing through controlled
Chemical Peels have
been a mainstay of Dermatology for decades. Only in recent years have lasers attempted to replace these trusted and effective
methods of resurfacing your skin. Dr. Gary Rothfeld, a board Certified Dermatologist in NYC, Manhattan has experience
with both methods which allows him to tailor a treatment regimen that precisely resolves skin surface irregularities
and maintains smooth and luminous skin.
- Do you peer in the mirror each morning
and play little face games?
- Do you
find yourself raising your brows, smiling wider, stretching wrinkles, pursing your lips, or lifting the droopy corners that
weren’t there last month?
you exhausted from trying every TV promise out there to stop your acne and wonder “why me?”
|Who doesn’t find something they don’t like about the face in the
mirror each morning? It’s human nature to want to look your best. Even royalty and celebrities find themselves sitting
across from Dr. Rothfeld seeking the fix for that blemish, that sag or that brown spot. |
Dr. Gary Rothfeld , board certified dermatologist at NYC Dematology, having worked alongside
several of the world's renowned dermatologists, has shaped a uniquely innovative approach in treating any skin problem you
may have. Through cosmetic and medical dermatology, laser surgery and powerful combination treatment options, Dr. Gary Rothfeld quickly
and effectively helps you see dramatic improvements in the appearance and health of your skin.
Dr. Gary Rothfeld
is well known for his particular expertise is in designing anti-aging, anti-acne, and anti-rosacea treatments with exceptional
success and optimum cosmetic elegance. These particular conditions need specialized non-harsh therapies in order to be successful
with minimal side effects. Over-treatment or overly aggressive treatment can backfire. Dr.Rothfeld makes sure that doesn’t
happen to his patients.
|Dr. Rothfelds' main concern
is that you receive an individualized skin treatment program that eliminates your problems without unnecessary
side effects. This is attained by having one-on-one care with good old fashioned personal attention from Dr.Gary Rothfeld himself."|
The most common medical condition that Dr. Rothfeld treats is Acne and Acne Scarring. His comprehensive approach may include photodynamic therapy which will help restore your natural, radiant skin without the signs of acne. This
treatment, which can consist of a combination of blue light and
laser, significantly diminishes your need for oral medications.
His cutting-edge research in technology
initiated his interest and involvement in Laser Dermatology. He has the latest proven lasers to treat acne and acne scarring, broken blood vessles, and rosacea , wrinkles , and loose
skin. These laser procedures provide tremendous results with little downtime. All laser procedures are performed personally
by Dr. Gary Rothfeld at NYC Dermatology.
As a sought-after expert in the successful use of Botox, he has trained
many physicians in how to implement his unique technique in treating their own patients. Many of his patients refer to him
as "the Botox artist". Wrinkles in the forehead, between the brows, and around the eyes are painlessly reduced.
The results are night & day differences with no downtime or pain.
One particularly exciting use of Botox is
the non-surgical Brow Lift. This procedure elevates the brow and can also elevate droopy eyelid skin. He has helped countless
patients avoid unnecessary plastic surgery with this procedure.
Another well-appreciated application of Botox Cosmetic
is in the treatment for excessive underarm sweating, which has been recently FDA approved. The Botox Cosmetic is non-diluted
and prepared in such a way as to be completely painless!
peels are excellent treatment for the prevention of aging skin and acne. Light Peels and ipl fotofacial offer quick treatments that help improve skin texture and minimize fine lines. Cosmelan treats patchy brown hyperpigmentation.
is Vital; Start with your Skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends yearly skin checks to examine moles and remove
unusual ones that are often are high risk.
Non-surgical treatment that softens wrinkles that have developed over time.
Recovery time is immediate
of Results: 3-4 months
Removal of the
outer layer of the skin using abrasion, chemicals or a laser, resulting in smoother and less wrinkled skin.
time is one to three weeks.
Duration of Results: Generally permanent.
(Different from Collagen and Soft Tissue Augmentation)
An injection of natural protein
which puffs up and raises skin tissue to smooth out and make less visible wrinkles and scars.
Recovery time is about
Duration of Results: Repeated as needed.
Skin blemishes, skin cancers, birth marks, scars and other skin growths can be removed or made less visible using various
techniques such as hidden incisions or laser treatment.
Recovery time is approximately seven to ten days.
of Results: Generally permanent.
to make scars less visible using various techniques such as Z-plasty or W-plasty.
Recovery time is variable
of Results: Generally permanent
is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and deeper lumps (cysts or nodules), that occur on the
face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Most teenagers have some acne. However, adults in their 20's,
even into their 40's or older, can get acne. Acne often clears up after several years even without treatment, but you need
not wait to outgrow it. Untreated acne can leave scars, which can be treated by your dermatologist as well.While not a life
threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. Acne can also lead to serious and permanent scarring.
The majority of moles
and other blemishes are benign (not-cancer). They will never be a threat to the health of the person who has them. Spots or
blemishes that warrant medical concern are those that do something out of the ordinary-those that act differently from other
existing moles. This includes any spot that changes in size, shape or color, or one that bleeds, itches, becomes painful,
or first appears when a person is past twenty.
Occasionally, a mole may become a cancerous growth. Therefore, it's
best to get medical advice from Dr. Gary Rothfeld, Board Certified Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology if you notice a mole that
does not follow the normal pattern. Dr. Rothfeld may be able to assure you that the mole is harmless. To accomplish this,
he may study a sample of it under a microscope for an accurate diagnosis.
He would then remove the mole, or part of it,
so that thin sections from the mole can be cut and examined under a microscope. This is a simple and harmless procedure. If
the growth was only partially removed and it is found to be cancerous, then the entire lesion and an extra margin of safety
will need to be removed.
A person may wish to get rid of moles that are in areas of trauma, where clothing can irritate
them, or simply because they are unattractive. The most common methods of removal include numbing the spot and then shaving
the mole off, or for some moles, cutting out the entire lesion and stitching the area closed.
Most procedures used to
remove moles take only a short time and can be performed in our office. Sometimes a mole will recur after it is removed. If
a removed mole does begin to reappear, the patient should return to see Dr.Gary Rothfeld.
Rashes, Eczema & Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a persistent skin disease that got
its name from the Greek word for "itch." The skin becomes inflamed, producing red, thickened areas with silvery
scales, most often on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. In some cases, psoriasis is so mild that people don't know
they have it. At the opposite extreme, severe psoriasis may cover large areas of the body. Our Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Gary Rothfeld can help even the most severe cases.
Psoriasis cannot be passed from one person to another,
though it is more likely to occur in people whose family members have it. In the United States two out of every hundred people
have psoriasis (four to five million people). Approximately 150,000 new cases occur each year.
The cause is unknown.
However, recent discoveries point to an abnormality in the functioning of key white cells in the blood stream triggering inflammation
in the skin. Because of the inflammation, the skin sheds too rapidly, every three to four days.
People often notice new
spots 10 to 14 days after the skin is cut, scratched, rubbed, or severely sunburned. Psoriasis can also be activated by infections,
such as strep throat, and by certain medicines. Flare-ups sometimes occur in the winter, as a result of dry skin and lack
Freckles & Age Spots
These flat, brown
areas are called lentigines. They have nothing to do with the liver - they are caused by the sun and usually appear on the
face, hands, back and feet. They are generally harmless. They may look like melanoma and therefore may require evaluation.
Commercial "fade" creams will not make lentigines disappear, but effective prescription medications and surgical
resurfacing treatments are available. Dr. Rothfeld at NYC Dermatology board certified dermatologist treats many cases
or black raised spots or wart-like growths look like they were stuck on the skin surface. They are not cancerous and are very
common in older people. If annoying, they can be easily removed by a dermatologist.
These are harmless, small, bright red raised bumps created by dilated blood vessels.
They occur in more than 85 percent of middle-aged and elderly people, usually on the trunk. Electrocautery, laser surgery,
or other surgical therapies remove these spots.
There are several different lasers used for the treatment of warts. Laser therapy is used to destroy some types of warts.
Lasers are more expensive and require the injection of a local anesthesia to numb the area treated.
is to inject each wart with an anti-cancer drug called bleomycin. The injections may be painful and can have other side effects.
Immunotherapy, which attempts to use the body's own rejection system is another method of treatment. Several methods of immunotherapy
are being used. With one method the patient is made allergic to a certain chemical which is then painted on the wart. A mild
allergic reaction occurs around the treated warts, and may result in the disappearance of the warts.
Warts may also
be injected with interferon, a treatment to boost the immune reaction and cause rejection of the wart. There are some wart
remedies available without a prescription. However, you might mistake another kind of skin growth for a wart, and end up treating
something more serious as though it were a wart. If you have any questions about either the diagnosis or the best way to treat
a wart, you should seek your dermatologist's advice.
Many babies have what are called "birthmarks" when they're born. In some cases they may appear within the first
few weeks of life. They can be brown, tan, blue, pink, or red. More than 10 in 100 babies have vascular birthmarks. These
are made up of blood vessels bunched together in the skin. They can be flat or raised, pink, red or bluish discolorations.
The exact causes of birthmarks are unknown. Most vascular birthmarks are not inherited, nor are they caused by anything
that happens to the mother during pregnancy.
There are different kinds of vascular birthmarks. Sometimes, the birthmark
must be watched for several weeks or months before the specific type can be identified. The most common types of vascular
birthmarks are macular stains, hemangiomas, and port wine stains. There are also many rare types of vascular birthmarks.
Rosacea, (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin disease
that causes redness and swelling on the face. Often referred to as "adult acne," rosacea may begin as a tendency
to flush or blush easily, and progress to persistent redness in the center of the face that may gradually involve the cheeks,
forehead, chin, and nose. It also may involve the ears, chest and back. As the disease progresses, small blood vessels and
tiny pimples begin to appear on and around the reddened area; however, unlike acne, there are no blackheads.
first develops, rosacea may come and go on its own. When the skin doesn't return to its normal color and when other symptoms,
such as pimples and enlarged blood vessels, become visible, it's best to seek advice from a dermatologist. The condition rarely
reverses itself and may last for years. It can become worse without treatment.
Many people with rosacea are unfamiliar
with it and do not recognize it in its early stages. Identifying the disease is the first step to controlling it. Self-diagnosis
and treatment are not recommended, as some over-the-counter skin applications may make the problem worse.
Rothfeld, board certified dermatologist in Manhattan, New York often recommends a combination of treatments tailored to the
individual patient. Together, these treatments can stop the progress of rosacea and sometimes reverse it. Gels and creams
may be prescribed by a dermatologist. A slight improvement can be seen in the first three to four weeks of use. Greater improvement
is usually noticed in two months. Oral antibiotics tend to produce faster results than topical medications.
creams may reduce the redness of rosacea. However, they should not be used for longer than two weeks and strong preparations
should be avoided. It is best to use these creams only under the direction of Dr. Rothfeld.
The persistent redness may
be treated with a small electric needle or by laser surgery to close off the dilated blood vessels. Cosmetics may offer an
alternative to the more specific treatment. Green tinted makeup may mask the redness.
Sclerotherapy of Leg Veins
The injection method, a procedure called sclerotherapy is used to
treat unwanted blood vessels. One of several kinds of solutions, called sclerosing solution, is injected with a very fine
needle directly into the blood vessel. This procedure has been used for spider veins since the 1930's and before that for
larger veins. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together and the blood to thicken.
Over a period of weeks, the vessel turns into scar tissue that is absorbed, eventually becoming barely noticeable or invisible.
A single blood vessel may have to be injected more than once, some weeks or months apart, depending on its size. In
any one treatment session a number of vessels can be injected.
The solutions available are slightly different and
the choice of which solution to use depends on several factors including the size of the vessel to be injected. our dermatologist
will choose a solution that is best for your particular case.
Occasionally larger varicose veins are underneath or
associated with the spider veins. In such cases, some physicians believe these vessels should be treated before the spider
veins. This can be done by sclerotherapy, intravascular laser, or radiofrequency, followed by compression. After several treatments,
most patients can expect a 50 percent to 90 percent improvement. However, fading is gradual, usually over months. Disappearance
of spider veins is usually achieved, but similar veins may appear in the same general area.
Scar & Keloid Treatments
Several techniques can minimize a scar. Most of these
are done routinely in the dermatologist's office. Only severe scars, such as burns over a large part of the body may require
general anesthesia or a hospital stay.
Surgical scar revision can improve the way scars look by changing the size,
depth, or color. However, no scar can ever be completely erased; and no magic technique will return the scar to its normal
uninjured appearance. Surgical scar revision typically results in a less obvious mark. Because each scar is different, each
will require a different approach.
The most important step in the treatment of scars is careful consultation between
the patient and the dermatologic surgeon Dr. Gary Rothfeld - finding out what bothers a patient most about a scar and deciding
upon the best treatment.
Based on the ability of the skin to stretch with time, surgical scar revision is a method of
removing a scar and rejoining the normal skin in a less obvious fashion. The surgical removal of scars is best suited for
wide or long scars, those in prominent places, or scars that have healed in a particular pattern or shape. Wide scars can
often be cut out and closed, resulting in a thinner scar, and long scars can be made shorter. A technique of irregular or
staggered incision lines, rather than straight-line incisions, to form a broken-line scar that is much more difficult to recognize
may be used. Sometimes, a scar's direction can be changed so that all or part of the scar that crosses a natural wrinkle or
line falls into the wrinkle, making it less noticeable. This method can also be used to move scars into more favorable locations,
such as into a hairline, or a natural junction (for instance, where the nose meets the cheek). Best results are obtained when
the scar is removed and wound edges are brought together without tension or movement (pull) on the skin.
(MOHS Micrographic Surgery)
MOHS micrographic surgery
is a highly specialized procedure for the removal of skin cancer. It was originally developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Frederic
MOHS and has been refined since, gaining substantial application only in the past decade. Although this procedure is very
precise, its major drawback is that it is very time consuming and requires specialized training, personnel and equipment.
Consequently, only a few major medical centers can provide this type of therapy.
There are three surgical steps
to MOHS micrographic surgery:
- The surgical removal of the visual portion of skin cancer with excision
- The surgical removal of a thin layer of tissue at the bed of the cancer.
- The examination
of the excised tissue layer under the microscope.
Open 7 Days A Week — Se
- Manhattan Dermatology - Skin Institute of New York - Skin Cancer Doctor- NYC Cosmetic Dermatology- Cosmetic
Dermatological Surgery - New York City - Board Certified Dermatologist
NYC Dermatology - Board Certified Dermatologist - New York, NY
30 E. 60th St. Ste. 805
Manhattan, New York 10022
Our goal at NYC Dermatology is to be the Tiffanys of Skin
Care. I personally see every new patient who visits our office. I am not just
a physician, I am a Board Certified Dermatologist
. My goal is, quite simply, to
provide the type of dermatologic care which I would seek for my own family. This is a very important point, since physicans often use the phrase "Doctor's Doctor" to refer to those individuals who typically are selected by physicians themselves
for personal care. I am confident that my practice fully meets that definition. This is the type of 5-star care
and service that our patients expect, deserve and receive. I treat every patient the way I would want to be treated: with
courtesy, dignity and respect. I carefully listen to their skin-care concerns and offer a variety of options including a treatment
plan that I believe will give them the best results and the best dermatologist. We also support our patients with a very fine
medical staff . Please take a moment to explore our top of the line winning website. My philosophy is simple…Experience
Counts and Quality Matters. Please allow me to solve your skin problems. After all,
at NYC Dermatology , our philosophy is if you look great you will feel great with gorgeous skin.”
Rothfeld possesses the special knowledge, skills and professional capability that distinguishes him as an outstanding Dermatologist in
NYC , Manhattan , New York at NYC Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist. Top New York City Dermatologist,
Dr. Rothfeld in Manhattan treats the most difficult cases until the problem clears. Dr. Rothfeld, a Board
Certified Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology in Manhattan, New York is caring, detailed, and meticulous and will never
give up until the problem is cleared. Dr. Rothfeld, a board certified dermatologist in nyc who practices Dermatology in
Manhattan, New York has treated many patients in the entertainment and music industry is caring, detailed and meticulous
and will not give up until the condition resolves. Dr. Rothfeld is recognized as one of the best Dermatologists in NYC
by the entertainment industry.
NYC Dermatology is
under the medical supervision of Dr. Gary Rothfeld, a Board Certified Dermatologist.
To enhance every aspect of
your skin care, Dr. Rothfeld has personally created a superb line of cosmetic procedures..
Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Gary Rothfeld is a board certified NYC Dermatologist
with a New York City office in Manhattan, New York providing expert skin care, dermatology, and
cosmetic dermatology services.
A board certified dermatologist in NYC specializing
in dermatology and dermatologic surgery including state-of-the-art cosmetic surgical procedures, Dr. Gary Rothfeld is
known for his attention to body symmetry and his dedication to meeting patients’ personal goals. His specialties include
full body liposuction using the tumescent technique, facial fat transplantation, Botulinum injection into facial lines and
laser resurfacing. NYC dermatology specializes in chemical peels, vein injections, laser, restylane, Perlane,
Botox injections, JUvederm, non-surgical facelifts, collagen implantation and treatment of skin cancer.
As an expert in the field of dermatology and cosmetic dermatologic surgery,
Dr. Rothfeld is has appeared on national television shows. Dr. Rothfeld has also been quoted in many high profile
Our goal at the manhattan office of Board Certified Derrmatologist , Dr. Gary
Rothfeld is to create an atmosphere of professionalism, trust and complete patient satisfaction at the NYC Dermatology
and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Manhattan, New York. Dr. Rothfeld, Dermatology Director of NYC Dermatolgy is a Board
Certified Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology who has treated many patients in the entertainment industry. Schedule an appointment at our office
which provides top of the line expert skin care, dermatology, cosmetic dermatology services, and advanced
dermatology laser treatments for cosmetic needs and medical skin conditions. We offer a full range of services including surgery
for skin cancer, laser hair removal, Botox®, the Fractionated Resurfacing laser, Titan laser, and acne photodynamic treatments.
Our main goal is to provide you with the most effective and advanced treatment. Join the NYC Laser Center NYC Dermatology Mailing
List Our periodic newsletters include exclusive offers, educational articles, as well as free treatment & product drawings!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org in our Media office and including different offers and many
more. We offer a variety of services from Botox® to Liposuction . Please contact us with any questions you may have or
schedule an appointment online or by phone for a consultation. Beauty Is Forever! and Dr. Rothfeld
at NYC Dermatologist has over 20 years of experience with his beauty tips.
During your office consultation and examination you will be provided
with a detailed plan of the treatments that will benefit you most. NYC Laser Center NYC Dermatology top laser dermatology
center offering skin care, dermatolgy,cosmetic dermatology services, and laser treatments for sun damaged skin, acne,
acne scars, rosacea, pigmentation, laser hair removal, broken blood vessels, as well as superficial
and deep wrinkles. We offer patients in Manhattan, services including general dermatology, wrinkle fillers such as Restylane®,
Captique, Perlane,Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast, Radiance® (radiesse)
and Sculptra. We also offer Botox®, Cosmelan, Velasmooth, Fotofacial, Titan laser, Refirme, and
the Fractionated Resurfacing laser. in the treatment of acne, rosacea, skin cancer and surgery. Dr. Rothfeld has
taught numerous other physicians on the proper use of Botox®, medical hair transplants, and lasers in the
country. Acne Photodynamic Treatment - Botox® - Botox® for Hyperhidrosis -
Cellulite - Cool Laser - Cosmelan Depigmentation Treatment - Glycolic Acid Peel - Fat Transfer - Fotofacial / IPL Fractionated
Resurfacing Laser - Hair Loss - Laser Hair Removal - Liposuction - - Surgery - Minimal Scar Technique - Photodynamic
Rejuvenation Radiance® - Restylane® - Sclerotherapy - Sculptra - Smoothbeam - Stretch Marks - SunFX - TCA Peel - Tattoo
Removal - Titan Laser Facelift - V-beam Laser Treatments - Velasmooth Our cosmetic surgeon includes Dermatologist Dr.
Gary Rothfeld Board Certified Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology. Our NYC dermatologist
offers advanced dermatology laser treatments for cosmetic needs and medical skin conditions. We offer our services to
Manhattan , Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens locations through our Manhattan office in NYC
Ultraviolet radiation is the major
cause of skin cancer, including melanoma. It is important for everyone to be aware of its damaging effects and take measures
to avoid overexposure.
Although many people enjoy the appearance of tanned skin and think it looks "healthy,"
tanned skin is damaged skin. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight penetrates the deepest layers of the skin where it harms
the cells. The body responds by making more pigment (melanin) to try to protect itself, but the damage has already happened
and may be permanent. The more exposure you have to the sun, the more likely you are to develop skin problems later in life.
The damaging part of sunlight is called ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays. It is categorized into three types:
rays (wavelengths = 200 nm to 290 nm) are the shortest and most powerful of the UV rays. UVC is the most likely
to cause cancer if it reaches skin. Fortunately, most of it is absorbed by the ozone layer in our atmosphere. However, there
is concern that a thinning of the ozone layer may be causing more UVC to reach the earth's surface.
- UVB rays (wavelengths
= 290 nm to 320 nm) are less damaging than UVC, but more of it penetrates to the earth's surface. It is the most common cause
of sunburn and skin cancer. UVB is particularly strong at the equator, at high elevations, and during the summer.
rays (wavelengths = 320 nm to 400 nm) are the least powerful of the UV rays, but they are present all year and
can penetrate windows and clouds.
The first and more effective way to avoid sun damage
is to stay out of tthe sun as much as possible.
If you cannot avoid being exposed to sunlight, there are five basic
defenses that you should keep in mind when you go outdoors:
- Avoid peak hours of sunlight
Peak Hours of Sunlight (UV Index)
In general, UV rays are the greatest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is best to avoid
the outdoors during these hours without protection, particularly during summer, in tropical regions, or at altitude. During
this time, you should pay close attention to the appropriate use of sunscreen, clothing, sunglasses, and shade.
can obtain an accurate measure of the amount of UV rays in your area by looking up the Ultraviolet (UV) Index. The
UV Index is like a weather forecast. It provides a report on the amount of damaging UV rays that are expected to affect a
region on a particular day. The UV Index changes day to day according to time of year, cloud cover, atmospheric ozone, and
The following table is a breakdown of the UV Index. A high UV Index number means that you are at greater
risk of being exposed to ultraviolet radiation. You should take special care to avoid outdoor exposure to sunlight when the
UV Index is moderate or greater.
- 0 to 2 = Minimal
- 3 to 4 = Low
- 5 to 6 = Moderate
- 7 to 9
- 10 or more = Very high
The UV Index can be found on our Website or in local papers, usually in
the weather section.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the right sunscreen. (See
the Sunscreens handout for more information.)
Sun protection actor (SPF) - Sunscreens are rated
by the amount of protection they provide from UVB, measured as the "sun protection factor" or SPF. Sunscreens with
higher SPF provide greater protection from the sun. It is best to use sunscreens that offer a minimum SPF of 15.
sunscreens - It is best to use a sunscreen that can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. These are called
Most of the original sunscreens blocked only UVB, but increased awareness
of the damage caused by UVA has lead to the development of ingredients that protect against UVA too. Broad-spectrum sunscreens
combine ingredients to provide a product with greater protection.
Common sunscreen ingredients that provide protection
from UVB rays:
- PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)
- Padimate O and Padimate
A (Octyl Dimethyl PABA)
Common sunscreen ingredients that provide protection from UVA
- Avobenzone (Parsol 1789)
- Benzophenones (oxybenzone, dioxybenzone, sulisobenzone)
"Physical" sunscreen ingredients lie on top of the skin and work by reflecting or scattering UV radiation. They
are particularly useful for people who are sensitive to the ingredients found in other sunscreens. Sunblocks often contain
one or more of these ingredients:
- Zinc oxide
- Titanium dioxide
- Iron oxide
formulations were unsightly (often leaving a white film on the skin), newer "microfine" formulations are invisible
after being applied. Microfine titanium dioxide is effective at protecting from both UVA and UVB rays.
resistance - Sunscreens are classified as "water-resistant" if they maintain their protection after
two 20-minute immersions in water. They are classified as "waterproof" if they maintain their protection after four
20-minute immersions. You should seek a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen if you will be participating in water sports,
such as swimming or water skiing, or will be actively sweating.
However, independent testing has shown many products
do not perform well in the real world. So it remains a good idea to apply sunscreen every time you leave the water, or frequently
if you are actively sweating.
Using a Sunscreen
Sunscreen should be applied evenly and liberally on all sun-exposed
skin within 30 minutes before going outside to give sunscreen time to take effect. (Sunblocks are effective immediately after
being applied.) Sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours or following swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen generously
and reapply frequently at least every two hours.
The chemicals may lose effectiveness over time, so it is important
to throw away sunscreen that is past its expiration date or is over two years old.
No sunscreen is 100% effective;
take additional measures to avoid the damaging effects of the sun's rays.
Clothing can provide excellent
protection from the sun. However, not all clothing is protective. A thin, wet, white t-shirt will provide almost no protection
from UV rays. When selecting clothes for sun protection, consider the following:
- Cover your head, shoulders, arms,
legs, and feet.
- Use a hat that is broad-brimmed (brim should be at least four inches wide).
- Wear fabrics that
are thicker or with a tight weave; these allow less sunlight to penetrate the skin.
- Wear darker-colored clothes that
absorb more UV rays.
- Wear clothing made from nylon or Dacron because it is more protective than cotton.
remaining in wet clothes because wet fabric may allow more UV rays to penetrate the skin.
- Wash clothing with chemical
absorbers to increase their protectiveness.
- Some clothing comes with a UPF rating that stands for "Ultraviolet
Protection Factor." This measures the ability of the fabric to block UV radiation from penetrating to the skin. A fabric
with a UPF 15 allows only 1/15th (6.66%) of the UV radiation to penetrate your skin as compared to uncovered skin.
fall into 3 categories:
- Good protection: UPF = 15 to 24
- Very good protection: UPF = 25 to 39
protection: UPF = 40 to 50+
Choose clothing with a UPF rating of at least 15. Keep in mind that the UPF of a garment
will decrease over time as the fabric wears.
Overexposure to sunlight can cause cataracts and macular
degeneration, a major cause of blindness. Sunglasses can provide protection. However, not all sunglasses are of value. A darker
lens itself does not guarantee protection. Look at the label to ensure that the glasses provide UV protection. Sunglasses
should be large enough to shield your eyes from many angles. Look for sunglasses that are described as blocking 99% or 100%
of UVA and UVB. The glasses may also be described as providing UV absorption up to 400 nm.
remain in the shade when outdoors. Keep in mind that shade does not provide full protection from the sun because UV rays can
bounce off reflective surfaces, such as sand, snow, water, concrete, or even porch decks. In addition, some fabrics used as
shade devices, such as parasols or umbrellas, may not provide sufficient protection. If you seek shade under a cloth, look
for a fabric that is thick, tightly woven, and dark-colored.
Clear window glass provides protection from UVC and UVB,
but not UVA rays. If you are frequently exposed to sunlight while driving, the plastic interleaf of your windshield (which
prevents it from shattering) can help block the light, but side windows have no such protection. Non-drivers can make use
of additional window shade devices. Drivers in some states may be able to use darkly-tinted glass in the side windows, but
this is illegal in some states.
- Avoid the sun when its UV rays are strongest,
between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater. Apply it 30 minutes prior to being
exposed to the sun and reapply every two hours. Consider using a water-resistant sunscreen if you will be active (sweating)
or in the water.
- Use a sunblock on your lips.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat when outdoors.
- Wear sunglasses.
tightly woven, dark clothing to cover your arms, legs, and feet.
- Stay in the shade when possible.
- Avoid reflective
surfaces, such as water or snow.
- Avoid sunbathing.
- Don't be fooled by cloudy days since damaging rays can
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