Here in Michigan, we look forward all fall, winter, and early spring until the day we can burst out of our doors and bask in the sun. The multitude of physical and mental health benefits you gain from the sun are virtually undeniable, and the sun definitely feels soothing on your skin.

And there goes the problem. It’s probably nature’s trickiest phenomenon: although the sun feels good on your skin, it’s not good for your skin.

When your skin turns darker or redder in the sun, that’s its way of protecting itself. The sun is essentially burning the skin, very much like the flames from a sparkling firepit would burn your fingers.

Your skin gets darker in the sun with a pigment called melanin that reduces UV penetration into the cells.

As most of us all know, the harmful rays of the sun can lead to skin cancer, so protecting your skin in the sun is critical.

Skin cancer can affect anyone, but most kinds of skin cancer can be cured if you see it and visit a dermatologist right away.

Protecting your skin with nourishing sunscreen while you’re in the sun is the best way to prevent skin cancer and sun spots. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection.

In addition to helping to prevent skin cancer, wearing sunscreen, protective sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, and protective clothing can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as you age.

By no means are we saying you should stay indoors. We wouldn’t dream of recommending that, as being out in the sun provides many health benefits, including possibly strengthening your bones. Just be careful out there! We want you to enjoy Michigan’s beautiful summers safely.

If you are concerned about skin cancer or to learn more about how to reduce wrinkles, contact one of the skin care professionals at Dermatology Specialists of Shelby, located here at the Shelby Macomb Medical Mall.