UV Photography Reveals Sun Damage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

UV Photography Reveals Sun Damage

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San Diego's sunny season is upon us, which means it's a good time to remind yourself about the danger of skin cancer. News 8's Jeff Zevely takes a look back at the sun damage on his face from five years to see if he's had sunscreen success since then.

Studies show only 50 percent of Americans make an effort to avoid getting sunburned, which is why doctors say in 2005 more than 8,000 people died from melanomas.

Under the hot La Jolla sun, two-year-old Shana is covered in sunscreen, but her mother is not.

"I don't wear sunscreen that often, just on my baby... maybe that's not the brightest idea," she said.

According to the American Melanoma Foundation, 20 percent of Americans will develop skin cancer, so they recommend avoiding excessive sun exposure between the ages of 10 to 18 because 80 percent of sun damage occurs during childhood.

"The best idea with kids is to reapply sunscreen every time they come out of the water," La Jolla Spa MD medical director Dr. Mitchel Goldman said.

The center just received a brand new skin analysis system. In a matter of seconds your face is scanned to detect wrinkle damage, bacteria count and clogged pores - a free test given to all patients.

"Any clients that want to come into this spa, we would be happy to give them one of these skin analyses," Dr. Goldman said.

For the sake of this story, we're most interested in the ultraviolet damage to Jeff's. Five years ago he was given a similar UV scan. So we asked Dr. Goldman to compare the pictures from then and now to let me know if I've been wearing enough sunscreen.

"You are doing OK, but there still is an increase in the sun damage that you have, and the reason is that even if you put the sunscreen on every day, you really can't stop the exposure from ultraviolet light," Dr. Goldman said.

The lesson: enjoy San Diego, but remember to protect yourself from the sun.

"All we have to do is be smart. Wear sunscreen, the higher the SPF number, the better," Dr. Goldman said.

Studies show five or more sunburns during your lifetime doubles your risk of developing skin cancer, so lather up and wear a hat and sunglasses.

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