Valley surgeon shares tips and tricks to keeping skin safe during summer months

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The summer sun is shining bright but here in Arizona, we get to enjoy those rays year-round. That's why one Valley surgeon is reminding everyone how important it is to protect our skin from the sun.

The sun's rays have many benefits but they can be harmful, too. Dr. Pablo Prichard, chief of plastic surgery at John C. Lincoln Hospital says sun damage includes dark spots, enlarged pores, pigmentation, fine lines, wrinkles, cancer, and more.

"The sun is the most aging thing we can do to our body," Dr. Prichard said. "It's even worse than smoking and high blood pressure and those kinds of things - the sun is worse than actual aging."

But he says there are ways to reverse the damage that's already been done. From the most aggressive to less evasive treatments, like lasers and chemical peels, Dr. Prichard says the most important thing is a good defense."

"The best blocks are the physical blocks," Dr. Prichard said. "You reverse the light and refract it away from the skin. Those are things like titanium dioxide and anything zinc dioxide is another one. Those refract light away."

Dr. Prichard recommends wearing a shot glass full of sunblock. If it's not a physical blocker, apply 20 to 30 minutes before exposure. Always reapply because not everything is really sweat- and waterproof.