Winter Sun Can Scorch

Here's how to protect your family from winter sunburn.

Don't let winter's cold temperatures and cloudy skies give you a false sense of sun security. Although the sun is less intense and the days are shorter in winter, the ozone layer that protects us from solar radiation is thinner. During winter, skin also produces less melanin, the dark pigment that gives skin its small amount of sun protection.

"People can get a more severe burn on the ski slopes than on the beach because they're more aware on the beach and take precautions," says Dr. Perry Robins, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation and professor of dermatology at New York University.

The dangers of the sun are increased at higher elevations because the air is cleaner and the sun is more intense and reflects off the snow.

For healthy winter skin, use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15, especially if you're going to be outside. Don't forget to protect the underside of your chin and the front of your neck from the sun reflecting off the snow.

Also remember that children need a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher with an added moisturizer on their faces before they go outside to play in the snow.

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