Here comes the sun

Local experts give their advice for keeping skin safe this summer.



Sunscreen is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun. Erin Lucie, clinical director for Oklahoma MD Medical Spa, suggests teenagers use oil-free, matte-finish SPF products like OBAGI Medical Sun Shield. Lucie also stresses hydration and providing protection against UVB and UVA radiation plus infrared defense to combat stress to the skin.

Summertime means sun, shorts, sandals, bathing suits and bronzed skin. But the carefree days of summer also can be dangerous. Along with shorter hemlines comes the increased chance of sunburns, which can cause aging skin and skin cancer. 

Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, fun in the sun is still possible.  

“What people don’t realize is, it’s never too late to begin protecting your skin from the sun,” says Dr. Ashwini K. Vaidya of Tulsa Dermatology Clinic. “While a lot of the damage has been done when a person is young, it’s never too late to help do something about it.”

Vaidya also states that starting to wear sunscreen on a daily basis can help repair and possibly reverse some of the sun damage that has occurred. 

However, the experts all agree on one thing: The earlier skin protection begins, the better, as most skin cancer in adults is from the sun exposure they had in their first 20 years. 

It is recommended for babies to be kept out of the sun until at least 6 months of age. 

“Their skin can be too sensitive for sunscreen, and their bodies can’t create enough pigment in their skin or eyes to protect themselves,” says Erin Lucie, clinical director of Oklahoma MD Medical Spa. “Pigment acts like tiny little umbrellas hovering over the cells’ DNA that prevents the UV rays from damaging the skin.”

Lucie also suggests hats and lightweight clothing for babies and a sunshade in the car to protect babies in their car seats. 

“Don’t forget UV rays can go through window glass, so it is essential to keep them protected even while in the car,” Lucie says. 

After 6 months old, it is safe for children to wear a tear-free sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. 

“You should also apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before your child goes outdoors,” Vaidya says, also recommending reapplying sunscreen every two hours when children are out in the sun. “Toddlers can begin to wear UV-protected glasses and clothing, too.”

Teenagers should start wearing a daily hydrator with SPF 30, according to Lucie.

“Teenagers’ skin becomes more sensitive, so adding the hydration element is important,” she says. “If they have oily, acne-prone skin, there are oil-free, matte-finish SPF 30 products available, as well.” 

The teenage and young adult years are the most crucial times to protect the skin.

“In general, the younger you are, the more damage can occur to your skin,” says Dr. Larry Altshuler of Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “and the greater the risk for developing skin cancer because of the damage that has been done to the DNA.” 

Altshuler stresses the importance of never using a tanning bed.

“People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent,” he says.

Young to middle-aged adults should first apply a Vitamin C serum and then a daily hydrating sunscreen with SPF 30.

“The topical Vitamin C serum is proven to aid in phototoxic damage,” Lucie says. “However, not all Vitamin C and sunscreen products are made the same, so always look for those approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation.”

Lucie also recommends that older adults begin using a sunscreen with pigment controllers. 

“Look for ingredients like hydroquinone or arbutin to prevent and correct damage,” Lucie says. “And seniors over the age of 70 definitely need to use an SPF with a hydrator.” 

Currently, there are no formal recommendations for routine skin checks. 

“Even though the most current recommendations from the USPSTF (U. S. Preventative Services Task Force) state there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against annual screenings in adults without a history of skin cancer in the family,” Altshuler says. “Dermatologists and their organizations recommend starting screening even as a young child, especially if they have higher risk factors.” 

Vaidya agrees.

“If you have a history of excessive sun exposure, multiple blistering sunburns, relatives with melanoma or a history of numerous atypical moles, you need to be screened by a dermatologist,” she says, suggesting every 6-12 months depending on findings during an examination.

“I look for the ugly duckling: a spot that has been growing and changing over time and does not look like all the other spots,” Lucie says. “Those are the ones that need to be checked out immediately.” 

The MySkinPal app is an easy way to track and analyze moles over time, as well as share photos and information with your medical provider at annual screenings. Spots that have grown or changed over time are ones that need immediate attention.

Lucie also says technology can help. 

“There are apps for your phone that will take a photo of a mole, analyze it and track the changes over time,” she says. SkinVision and MySkinPal are popular apps.

Although everyone who has been overexposed to the sun is at risk for skin cancer, some individuals have a higher risk than others. 

“People with a lighter skin color (fair complexion, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes), and who freckle or redden easily have a high risk factor,” Altshuler says. “Also, people with certain types and a large number of moles pose a higher risk.” 

Even without risk factors, anyone who gets sunburned is in potential danger.

“Getting a sunburn just once every two years triples the risk of getting skin cancer,” Altshuler says. 

However, sometimes sunburns still occur, even when taking precautions. So, what do you do when that happens?

“You need to keep your body cool,” Lucie says. “Take a cool shower or bath and moisturize with an aloe vera lotion. But do not apply an oil or anything thick and greasy because the skin needs to breathe.”

Vaidya recommends staying hydrated. 

“Hydration is very important, especially in children, as the burn ‘draws’ fluid from the body to the skin,” she says. “Taking a few doses of ibuprofen over the next 48 hours will help reduce the redness and swelling. However, if there are fever, chills or severe blisters you should seek medical help.”  

The essentials to practicing good skin health in the summer apply across the board. 

“It is important to protect your skin at all ages,” Vaidya says. “Wear sunscreen daily, avoid sun exposure between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the UV rays are the most harmful. Reapply every two hours, wear loose clothing and a hat, and seek shade whenever possible.”

 

​Marnie Fernandez is a contributing writer to TulsaPeople.

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February 2019

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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
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View map »

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Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
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View map »

More information

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Website »

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Sponsor: Lindsey House
Telephone: 918-933-5222
Contact Name: Diana Denny
Website »

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JAKE OWEN Multiple chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen’s new single “Down To The Honkytonk” is rapidly climbing the Billboard Country Airplay charts. With seven #1 songs to...

Cost: $50, $75, $100

Where:
Osage Casino
Tulsa, OK

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Sunday in the Park with George follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed...

Cost: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for students & seniors with ID

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

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Join us for the 59th Annual Book Fair! Saturday, February 23, 2019 8:00 am–3:00 pm Holland Hall Primary School Gym Open to the public. Tickets $1, 18 and under free. No RSVP required,...

Cost: $1

Where:
Holland Hall Primary School
5666 E. 81 St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Holland Hall
Telephone: 918-481-1111
Contact Name: Heather Brasel
Website »

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The Orbit Initiative, produced by The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust, resumes its FREE community satellite adventures at seven local community centers this Saturday, January 12th, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various
Various
Tulsa, OK  Various
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Sponsor: The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust
Telephone: 918-596-7119
Contact Name: Jeremy Stevens
Website »

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As Lakota artist Oscar Howe wrote in 1958, “There is much more to Indian art than pretty, stylized pictures.” This exhibition highlights this depth and the 20th century American masters who...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles — both “over there” and on the home front — in helping the Allies win World War I. The American Expeditionary Force (AEF)...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Few animals conjure the power and symbolic presence of the North American bison. Whether painted on a tipi or an artist’s canvas, minted on a nickel, or seen grazing in Yellowstone National Park,...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Pain Management Class Non-medical Treatments for Pain Non-medical treatments may be used to treat chronic pain, along with pain medicines. They might also be used alone for mild pain or...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Glenpool Library
730 E. 141st Street
Glenpool, OK  74033
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Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

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34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition—Opens on February 5th, 2019   Agora Gallery is pleased to invite artists from across the globe to enter the 34th Annual Chelsea...

Cost: $45 entry fee for up to 5 images ($5 for each additional image)

Where:
Agora Gallery
530 W 25th St.
New York, NY  10001
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Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
Website »

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Winter's Grace Publishing, of northeast Oklahoma, is holding its inaugural Dead of Winter Flash Fiction Contest. It opened January 1 and it closes February 28. It's open to all creative writers...

Cost: $15 per story

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Winter's Grace Publishing
Telephone: 918-852-6311
Contact Name: C.D. Smart
Website »

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Youth members of the six area Boys & Girls Clubs compete for college scholarships in the Annual Youth of the Year competition. The winners are announced at this banquet. Volunteers making a...

Cost: $75

Where:
ORU Global Learning Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
Website »

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Cocktails, dinner and program with live and silent auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
Website »

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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun!  New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun! New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational incarceration,...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond Event Center
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cocktails, dinner and program;  silent and live auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
Website »

More information

Support youth leaders emerging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. Each candidate is competing for higher education scholarships. Our goal is for youth leader to be a winner and advance with...

Cost: $50 Individual Tickets and Sponsor Levels

Where:
Global Learning Center at ORU
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

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6-10:30 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st Street. The 2019 Lunar New Year Gala at Southern Hills Country Club will be an elegant evening of candlelight, fine dining, children’s party...

Cost: $150, individual tickets; $1,000-$25,000, sponsorships.

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Dillon International
Telephone: 918-748-5613
Contact Name: Marcia Graham
Website »

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COOKING UP COMPASSION FACT SHEET ABOUT THE EVENT:  Long time donors Margo and Kent Dunbar are Honorary Chairs for the event. Now in its fourteenth year, Cooking Up Compassion raises funds for the...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Ballroom at the Cox Business Center
3rd & Houston
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Catholic Charities
Telephone: 918-508-7115
Contact Name: Jennifer Allen
Website »

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Winterset is an annual formal event of the Osteopathic Founders Foundation which brings together the osteopathic profession and their community partners to benefit projects which improve the health...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hyatt Regency Tulsa
100 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Osteopathic Founders Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-7300
Contact Name: Michele Caine
Website »

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Sunday in the Park with George follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed...

Cost: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for students & seniors with ID

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

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TULtalk


Art film meets dance at Oklahoma Dance Film Festival

This year's program features more than 20 films from around the world, presented on Sunday at the Central Library.

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2.4: #KnopeLife — Anna America

Anna America took the helm at Tulsa’s Parks and Recreation department in the fall of 2018, but she is certainly no stranger to life in the public eye.

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7 strategies to help you make the A-LIST

The competition is tough for small businesses on our annual readers' choice survey, but a few smart strategies can help you get ahead.

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“Sunday in the Park” is no walk in the park

American Theatre Company prepares for the Oklahoma premiere of the very technically challenging “Sunday in the Park with George,” Feb. 15-24

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2.3: Get that “Woo!” — Tom Basler

A conversation with dueling piano phenom Tom Basler about his many reinventions, both personal and professional.

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