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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October 2019

The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

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Cost: FREE

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Cost: 0.00

Where:
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
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Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

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Endangered Ark Foundation
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Telephone: 580-317-8470
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Cost: $30-$500

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Sponsor: United Nations Association of Eastern Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-430-6119
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Cost: $300 (individual tickets)

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Sponsor: Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice
Telephone: 918-583-1361
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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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Cost: $1,250

Where:
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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More information

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Cost: 0.00

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View map »


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Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

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2657 E 2070 Rd
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View map »


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Contact Name: Emily
Website »

More information

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Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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View map »


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Cost: Varies

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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
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View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $15-$25

Where:
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View map »


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The annual US National Arabian & Half Arabian Horse Show returns to Tulsa. You will be able to see over 1700 Arabian and Half Arabian horses competing in many divisions, including Breeding/In Hand...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Tulsa State Fairgrounds
4145 E 21st St,
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

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The Tulsa Walk to Defeat ALS is the signature fundraising event for The ALS Association Oklahoma. The Walk to Defeat ALS is the #1 way to unite and fundraise for those living with ALS. Each...

Cost: Free

Where:
Guthrie Green
111 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 202-464-8617

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Together OSU Medicine and OSU Medical Center have built a fully comprehensive health care team to serve families in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. One of those levels of expertise is...

Cost: Free

Where:
OSU Medical Center North Lobby
744 W. Ninth St.
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: OSU Medicine

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 Harvest Hayday!  October 26, from 11am - 2pm.  Come celebrate the arrival of fall!  With hayrides, games, trunk or treating, emergency vehicles, a petting zoo, and more, ...

Cost: Free, except food items for purchase from Food Trucks

Where:
Asbury UMC
6767 S. Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Asbury UMC
Telephone: 918-392-1165
Contact Name: Kim Broadhurst
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Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
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Outdoor All Day Family Friendly Halloween Event 

Cost: $0-$10.00

Where:
Downtown Wagoner
Main Street
Wagoner
Wagoner, OK  74467
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Sponsor: Wagoner Main Street
Telephone: 918-577-1772
Contact Name: Samantha Call
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Buy a Care Card and save up to 20% at more than 200 local stores and restaurants October 25 – November 3, 2018. With Care Card, you’re saving more than money – you’re saving lives....

Cost: $60

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: Family & Children's Services
Telephone: 918-560-1115
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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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
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Mummies of all ages! Bring your goblins, witches, and super heroes to our fun and food filled Halloween Dance! Saturday, October 26th, 2019 6-9 pm $5 per person (check or cash)  

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Bixby Community Center
211 N Cabaniss Ave
Bixby , OK  74008
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Sponsor: Bixby Community Center
Telephone: 918-366-4841
Contact Name: Victoria Smith

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For the first time, the Oklahoma Aquarium will host seven nights of indoor trick-or-treating for kids of all ages from Friday, October 25 to Thursday, October 31! Guests can follow the...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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Tulsa Metro Sound Chorus presents: "As Seen on TMS". A comedic review which will keep you in stitches, including music of Iconic Women of Song . Come enjoy the music of Karen Carpenter,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
Memorial High School
5840 S Hudson Ave,
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Marlys Fallen
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Choral Music from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Down Under

Cost: $20

Where:
Cascia Hall
2520 S Yorktown Ave
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Tulsa Chorale
Telephone: 918-625-1527
Contact Name: Anastasia Howard
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Are you looking for a night of Halloween hilarity, ghoulish guffaws, and spooky silliness? Then come and see the spirited stylings of Laughing Matter… Oklahoma’s longest-running...

Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
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Luchadores go head to head in the ring to see who really is The Great Pumpkin!

Cost: Free

Where:
Elote Cafe & Catering
514 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Elote Cafe & Catering
Telephone: 918-582-1403
Contact Name: Elote Cafe & Catering
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Seymour, a nerdy worker at a run-down florist is romantically pining for a seemingly unattainable beauty named Audrey, when he discovers an unusual plant that only thrives when it is fed human...

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 East Second Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Project Theatre
Telephone: 918-596-7122
Contact Name: Amber Whitlatch
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No tricks, just treats! Gathering Place is casting a spell for all not-so-scary ghosts and ghouls to make their way to the park for sweets and treats. Meet us on Spooky Street for a kid-friendly,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Website »

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What's New


Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Oct. 20

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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3.06: Representing District 73 - Regina Goodwin

A conversation with the state representative about issues in her district, plus what it's like being a Democrat in the state legislature. Plus Tulsa Architect Foundation's Amanda DeCort on the Blue Dome District and new music from Count Tutu.

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Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Oct. 13

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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CLIFFDIVER on mental health, Tulsa and their new music

A Q&A with the Tulsa band that describes its sound as "Elevator Emo Pop"

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Oklahoma Best-Sellers: Oct. 6

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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