CBS47 On Your Side: Apps to prevent your next sunburn


Nothing turns a Summer into a bummer more than a nasty sunburn, especially when its accompanied with a headache from the heat or worse.

Did you know, there are some apps you can download, to help you avoid your next burn?

Valley dermatologists say technology is one thing, but nothing beats good old fashion common sense when dealing with the sun, and using sun screen and protective clothing.

For nearly 40 years, Doctor David Taylor Junior has kept his eyes on people’s skin.

He says most associate the sun’s UV rays with melanoma skin cancer, but lately his office has noticed an up tick in a more deadly skin disease due to the sun.

Dr. Taylor says, “it is called Merkel cell carcinoma and it’s seen in sun exposed areas, in particular in older people who have had other skin cancers. These can be very very aggressive and even fatal.”

Dermatologists say long-term sun exposure or a weak immune system may increase your risk of developing Merkel cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell carcinoma tends to grow fast and to spread quickly to other parts of your body. Treatment options for Merkel cell carcinoma often depend on whether the cancer has spread beyond the skin.

Dr. Taylor says he’s never used phone apps, like Sunwise UV Index, which delivers daily information about the sun’s UV rays.

The app gathers information from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Weather Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The OSHA – Niosh Heat Safety tool is another app, also from the CDC, designed to help users take precautions against outdoor heat while working or playing.

The app features real heat time index, along with info about signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, like heat stroke.

Doctors say if you want to have nice skin when your older, protect it when your younger.

Dr. Taylor says especially here in the San Joaquin Valley sunscreen needs to be used religiously, replied at least every 2 hours, and used generously on your face.

“We used to tell our patients the worst sun was between 10 am and 2 pm. Well, we now know it’s between 11 am and 4 pm. As the day heats up that allows for more ultra-violet to pass through,” says Dr. Taylor.

Another reminder if you go hiking, the higher you are in elevation the more UV rays you receive.

A good rule to follow, for every 1,000 feet of elevation, you get 5 percent more UV rays.

Enjoy the sun, but cover up!

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