Fairbanks, Alaska Summertime in Alaska only lasts for a few short months and people make the most of it, but according to Dermatologist Maren Gaul, too much time in the sun unprotected can have lasting consequences.
"So the suns UV rays can damage your cells and the DNA, causing not only skin cancers and pre cancers but aging issues like wrinkling and sun spots." Gaul said.
Doctor Gaul said the best protection is clothing. Light colors and large wide brimmed hats are recommended. She said if that isn't an option for people, a sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or S-P-F, of 50 or higher will be sufficient. Doctor Gaul mentioned that children should be protected in the same way.
"Sun protective clothing, and swimsuits that also have arm and legs, and hats. The more you can do that the better. And I know that kids are difficult sometimes, they want to rip off the hat so at least get that 50 SPF with the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide on." Said Gaul.
It isn't just during sunny, summer days that sun damage is a risk either; Doctor Gaul recommends wearing sunscreen year round, even on overcast days because the UV, or ultra violet, rays are still present.