Don't Fry Day: Doctors encourage sun safety

This Friday is known as Don't FRY DAY, as in don't sunburn. This Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to summer, and a local doctor urges you to protect your skin, not only in the summer but all year long.

 It can certainly feel good to enjoy the great outdoors, but like everything else, moderation is key when it comes to sun exposure.

"Since it is in the month of May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it's a really good time to remind people, try not to fry your skin! The more sunburns you get, the higher the risk of skin cancer, especially melanoma," explains Dr. Mirwat Sami, surgeon with Houston Oculofacial Plastic Surgery.

She encourages sun safety!

"It is really important, and I'll tell you why. Not just as an ocular plastic surgeon who deals with a lot of skin cancers, the face and the eyes, but also because we know for a fact, statistics show us that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. That's a staggering number and we're seeing it now in younger individuals, in their 20's and 30's. Genetics plays a role, but we know it's sun exposure that really triggers that whole genetic cascade of mutations," explains Dr. Sami.


Dr. Sami says everyone, with every skin type, needs to wear sun protection. Skin cancer is alarmingly up 20-percent among people with darker complexions.

"People think that just because you have more melanin in your skin, you're a little darker complected, you're protected. Now, in a way, that is true, so the incidence is lower in people with darker complexions, however, we are seeing a rise in skin cancer incidence in our Hispanic population, in our African American population even melanoma, so it's across the board. I think it's important to be aware of those numbers, and then let's not forget about aesthetics! We know that sun exposure makes you more prone to developing lines and wrinkles, so if not for the medical aspect, at least the aesthetic aspect, should prompt people to protect themselves from the sun," states Dr. Sami.


Dr. Sami encourages others to help spread the word, using #SPFisyourBFF. Slather it on to protect from major sun damage.

You'll need to reapply that sunscreen every 80 minutes to two hours throughout the day, even when driving in a vehicle, for full protection.  

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