Lubbock dermatologist recommends sunscreen, even for short periods

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Anyone who plans to go outside this summer is increasing their risk for skin cancer down the road.

But Dr. Bryan Harris with Lehman Dermatology Clinic says there's an effective preventative measure that many may have heard as a child.

"You really want patients to realize that sunscreen is very important," Harris said. "If you even feel like you're going to be out for just a few minutes, you should still go ahead and apply sunscreen, at least an SPF of 30, and the main thing is to reapply. If you're out for much longer than an hour or so, you should reapply - especially if you are in the water."

Dr. Harris says that everyone gets sunburned sometimes, even despite preventative efforts. He says part of it depends on what time you are outside – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. being around the peak hours.

"Unfortunately, as everybody probably knows, it's been pretty hot even after that - in upwards of six or seven o'clock sometimes," he said, "so just when you're out, no matter what time, make sure you use those preventative measures."

Even though you can relieve short-term discomfort from sunburns, it's the long-term illnesses that can that doctors are worried about. Harris said there is an increase in skin cancer in younger patients, and he urges people to be conscious of skin spots.

"Any little spot that doesn't go away after three or four weeks is probably something that should be looked at," he said. "Any mole that is new or changed is something you should seek advice from your dermatologist."

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