Skin Care for the Summer

Dr. Malafa (plastic surgeon) talks about skincare for the summer. Dr. Malafa explains the best ways to protect our skin, how to choose a sunscreen and how to prevent sun exposure to a child.
Skin Care for the Summer
Busayo Malafa, MD
Busayo Malafa, MD, is a plastic surgeon with UPMC Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She received her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed her residency in general surgery at WellSpan York Hospital, followed by her residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is board-certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery. 

Learn more about Busayo Malafa, MD

Bill Klaproth: Uh, those summer months, we love them. Days at the beach or the pool or biking, hiking, just being outside and enjoying the weather. But we do have to remember our skin and protected from the damaging rays of the sun. So let's talk with Dr. Busayo Malafa, a physician at UPMC . This is Healthier You, a podcast from UPMC. I'm Bill Klaproth. Dr. Malafa, thank you so much for your time. So, as I said, some are mines. We love being outside, but our skin can take a beating. So let me start with this. What are some of the best ways to protect our skin from the sun?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Thank you for having me on. I'm really glad to be here. So a couple of different ways you can protect your skin and some of the sun. An important one is sunscreen. I Recommend using a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. and applying that. Every two hours. You can use either a mineral based sunscreen or a chemical based sunscreen.

The mineral based on screener. Typically better for the environment. Another option is also to use clothing. That will cover your skin. I recommend patients wear long sleeve clothing, wear hat, and also wear sunglasses to. A lot of people forget to protect your eyes, but sun exposure over time can increase their risk of cataracts.

Bill Klaproth: So use an SPF of 30 or higher. You said mineral based is better for the environment. Certainly wearing protective clothing can help too. And I imagine staying out of the sun during those really peak, hot hours as well helps. What about these apps that kind of show you V raise when you see that on weather apps? It seems like that can help too.

Dr. Busayo Malafa: So usually, most films on the weather app will tell you what the UV index is. So staying out of the sun when the UV index is high, would also help to protect you from sun exposure.

Bill Klaproth: And then you said we should be applying sunscreen every two hours. When it comes to sunscreen, can you give us some guidance on how to choose a sunscreen?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Well, there is a saying that the best sunscreen is the one you'll use. So, Whichever one you use can use a mineral based one or you can use a chemical. Beef one. the reason I mentioned the mineral base one is that. Some studies have shown that the, chemical based ones can cause some environmental issues. But ultimately, I think it's really more important for you to protect your skin. So whichever one is easier for you as a patient to use. I think that's just the best one to pick.

Bill Klaproth: What about for people with sensitive skin? Any advice there?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: For people with sensitive skin it maybe better to try the minimal based on screens. And you may have to try a couple of different brands before you find what works best for you. Ultimately, if you can kind of find a sunscreen. I worked for you. You may have to use an alternative. Like staying out of the sun when the UV index is higher, wearing clothing that protects your skin in the sun.

Bill Klaproth: And then of course, we're primarily talking about. Sun exposure for our skin. But what about our lips? Lip balms? Is that a good idea when we're out in the sun?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Yes, it is a good idea. While you're out in the sun, your lips can also get sunburned. So it's important to use a lip balm that has at least SPF 30.

Bill Klaproth: Okay, that makes sense. So let's talk about children because certainly they want to run around and enjoy the sun. How do we prevent sun exposure for our kids?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: For children on the six months, it's not recommended to use sunscreens on them because kids will put their hands in their mouth or they're more likely to ingest it. For we're really small children. It's more important to use a hat and clothing that protects your skin from the Senate. Also keeping them out of the sun when the UV index is high. For older children, you can use sunscreen and them too, but again, it's important to put a hat on your child and also have them were pulling they'll protect their skin too.

Bill Klaproth: Yeah, that is good advice. And say, a child does get a sunburn. What are the potential risks down the road for a child that does get an early sunburn?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Sunburns in children at a younger age. increase your risk of skin cancers later in their lives. It's just, it's really important for your kids to make sure you protect them from the sun. Because of sunburn as a child, doesn't have the same effects as a sunburn when you're in your thirties and forties. Those sunburns as children have a greater likelihood of leading to skin cancers when the kids are older

Bill Klaproth: Well, that's really good advice about our kids and how a sunburn early on in life can really be detrimental to them later on in life. So parents really do need to be cognizant of protecting their children when they're out in the sun. Let me ask you this. As we age, our skin changes, as you know, When is it time to see the doctor if we do notice changes in our skin or moles or things over time, when should we think about seeing the doctor?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: When you notice skin changes, you see a doctor as soon as possible and I'll just give it some criteria. So they're like the ABCDEs of skin lesions. So a skin mold that's asymmetric is more concerning than one that is like round and has nice edges. [ naudible]i Borders. So again, a mole with [inaudible] borders, is not as concerning as one that has irregular borders. C is color changes. So if you had a mole that's been the same color as your skin, and it's all getting darker. That's concerning, or if it's been brown and now it's black. That's concerning. D for diameter.

So usually skin lesions greater than five or six millimeters are more concerning then those that are smaller. And E is for evolving or changing. So again, if you have a mole or a skin lesion or a skin changes, you should see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to have it evaluated because it may be a sign that the mole or your skin is having a transformation to something that's more concerning, or may need to be biopsied.

Bill Klaproth: Right. So pay attention to A, B, C, D E. You said a is asymmetric. So watch for the shape of that. B is border. See look Changing the color changing. D is diameter. Yes. And then he is evolving. So if you noticed this changing over time, that's when, better safe than sorry, time to see a doctor. Well, this has been a great conversation. Dr. Malafa, any other thoughts on our skin safe in the summer months?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Well, actually just one more thing. Sunscreen is important because it provides protection for your skin. And also like we talked about clothing, hats, and sunglasses. There are like a couple of other things you can do to help protect your skin. using antioxidants on your skin will kind of help reduce the effects of sun damage on your skin. So that's something extra you can do. And there's several antioxidant creams or solutions that contain vitamin C and other antioxidants. And what they do is the absorb, the harmful UV radiation from the environment. So that's one more thing you can do to protect yourself.

Bill Klaproth: So would an antioxidant be good? Say, I'm not going to be spending a day at the beach or the pool, but I'm just going to be outside a lot today, in and out of the office spending some time. Good to just kind of rub that antioxidant to your skin before you leave the house for the day?

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Yes. And actually I would recommend it. added to like your routine skincare. Yeah. Because when you're walking to your car or driving your being exposed to sun too, So many ways we were exposed to the sun and we don't think about it. So it's important to think of your skin the whole year, not just during the summer or on the beach or at the pool.

Bill Klaproth: Yeah. That is really a good tip and drivers to people that are driving a lot, they get that exposure through the window. That is really a great tip about the antioxidants. So thank you for sharing that. Well, this has really been good information, Dr. Malafa, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.

Dr. Busayo Malafa: Okay, thank you for having me, it was lovely being on.

Bill Klaproth: And for more information, please visit And if you found this podcast helpful please share it on your social channels and check out the full podcast library for topics of interest to you. This is Healthier You, a podcast from UPMC. I'm Bill Klaproth, thanks for listening