MEDIA ADVISORY: Solstice Alert: Risk of Skin Cancer from Winter Sun; Yale Physician Offers Free Skin Care Book Online

Are you planning a holiday ski trip? How about a quick getaway to the Caribbean? Think you can leave the sunscreen at home because it’s winter? Here’s a warning from Yale School of Medicine physician Dr. David J. Leffell: “Just because the calendar says December or January doesn’t mean you’re free from the risk of skin cancer.”

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is the leading cause of skin cancer – the most common form of cancer. But what many people do not realize is that exposure in winter can be as dangerous as in summer if you do not protect yourself.

“Ultraviolet radiation is increased at high altitudes, so if you are planning on a ski trip in the mountains, be aware that you remain at risk for the harmful effects of the sun,” said Leffell. And don’t think that haze or clouds will fully protect you, either. “About 90 percent of UV rays can penetrate haze and clouds, so skiers and vacationers should not have a false sense of security,” added the skin care expert.

David Leffell is an internationally recognized expert in skin health, skin cancer and reconstructive surgery, and author of the nationally known book Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care For Life. As a public service, in keeping with the holidays, he is making his book available online, at no cost, at

Leffell is a professor of dermatology and surgery and chief of the Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Unit at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also deputy dean for clinical affairs at the Yale School of Medicine and CEO of the Yale Medical Group, which is comprised of more than 800 Yale faculty physicians in over 100 medical specialties.

Dr. Leffell is available for an interview on the dangers of winter sun exposure and how best to protect yourself.

Helen Dodson 203-436-3984 or
David Leffell, MD 203-785-7999

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