Now that the weather is finally starting to get warmer and less rainy here on the West Coast, it’s time to talk about sun protection.

We should all be using products that protect us from the harmful rays of the sun throughout the year. The sun’s harmful UV rays can still affect us during the rainy season and throughout the winter months. However, it is most important during the summer months when people start wearing clothing that exposes more skin and spend more time outdoors.

Everyone knows to wear sunscreen, but do you know one of the areas where people are most likely to miss with their SPF? Their mouths!

The skin of our lips is thin and lacks melanin (the pigmentation in the skin that helps to filter sun rays), and because of this, they

are particularly at risk for sun damage. Sun damage to the lips can alter collagen production, leading to wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, the lips are susceptible to precancerous lesions due to sun damage.

Sun exposure is also one of the leading contributors to the appearance of cold sores.

Make sure that lip balm with sunscreen or a hat with a brim large enough to shade your face, are part of your regular routine, summer and winter.

Regular dental checkups and oral cancer screenings areĀ  recommended in order to prevent the development of oral cancer and to detect it at its earliest stages.