West Houston Dermatology

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Afternoon Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer Risks

One of our missions at West Houston Dermatology is to educate our patients about risks of developing skin cancer.  Our patients are educated about the importance of using sunscreen properly and to limit sun exposure.  A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that exposure to the sun is more harmful to the skin in the afternoon rather than the morning hours.  This reality has nothing to do with the strength of the sun’s rays in the afternoon versus the morning.  Instead it relates to our bodies’ cellular repair mechanisms from UV radiation exposure.  This is linked to our circadian rhythms.  Our peak efficiency for cellular DNA repair is in the morning hours rather than the evening.  As always, we hope that you keep your skin protected from the sun to both protect it from cancer and to prevent premature aging that is associated with UV exposure.