New York Dermatology - Board Certified Dermatologist - Dr. Gary Rothfeld - (212) 644-9494

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Facial Rejuvenation
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Frown Lines
Double Chins, Jowels, Weak Chins
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Body Contour
Tummy Tuck
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Cheek Implants
Massive Weight Loss
Chest (Pec) Implants
Ear Correction
Nose Reshaping
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The three components for reconstruction are:
1) Skin envelope.
2) Breast mound.
3) Nipple.
Breasts need to be reconstructed after:
i) Removal for disease.(cancer)
ii) Failure to develop.
iii) Unequal development during adolescence resulting in asymmetry.
Reconstruction of a breast may require multiple, staged procedures.
1) Skin Envelope:
a) Additional skin iscreated by stretching (expansion)of the existing skin or
b) Transfer of skin from another area of the body to the chest.

2) Breast Mound:
a) A breast mound is created by insertion of a breast implant or:
b) By transfer of tissue from another area of the body.

3) Nipple Reconstruction:
a) Reconstruction of a nipple areolar complex may require multiple, staged
Medical Insurance would usually cover the costs of breast reconstructive surgery.

Breast implants are inserted to:
i) Enlarge small breasts.(augmentation)
ii) Lift sagging breasts.(ptosis correction/mastopexy)
iii) Refill breast skin envelopes. - Weight loss/ breast feeding/ pregnancy and aging often results in loss of breast tissue.
iv) Reconstruct absent breasts.(breast reconstruction)
v) Correct unequal sized breasts.(symmetry correction)
Breast implants are one of the most commonly performed Plastic Surgery operations. Breast implants have a low complication rate and very high patient satisfaction rate.

Woman with large breasts often complain of backache and related problems. They often get rashes under their breasts in summer, difficulty in buying "off the peg" clothes, will not participate in sport and can be socially withdrawn.
Breast reduction is an operation, which removes skin and breast tissue or occasionally breast tissue only.
Young women with good skin tone and moderately enlarged breasts can be reduced by liposuction.
Very large, glandular (non- fatty) breasts or breasts that have excess skin are reduced by an excisional surgical procedure.
The choice of the surgical procedure will depend on the patient's particular problem.
Breast reduction surgery usually results in significant scars. Woman that have undergone breast reduction surgery are usually very accepting of these scars, as they are happy to have been relieved of their "load".

All men have some breast tissue.
Breast development occurs in most teenage boys, but usually regresses. Breast tissue in men is embarrassing and is corrected by liposuction or excisional surgery with pleasing results.
Medical Insurance would usually cover the cost of male breast surgery.

Ptosis correction or mastopexy is the correction of drooping breasts and nipples.
The causes of breast ptosis are: age, reduced female hormones, gravity, weight loss, pregnancy and breast-feeding. Their combined effect is stretching of the skin and loss of breast tissue.
The method of treatment of ptosis is determined by the underlying problem and the patient's expectations.
Treatment may involve:
i) Skin tightening - excision of skin.
ii) Skin tightening and removal of breast tissue - excision of skin and breast tissue.
iii) Replacement of lost breast tissue via an implant - augmentation.
iv) Replacement of lost breast tissue via an implant plus tightening of the skin - excision of skin plus augmentation.

A face-lift is a major surgical procedure that takes two-three hours. A face-lift tightens the skin of the face and neck and mainly removes deep, heavy lines. The excess facial and neck skin is excised and discarded.
Modern face-lifts often involve adjustment of the deeper foundation layers of the facial structures.
Tightening the deeper layers of the facial structure allows a better face-lift with less tension on the skin. (SMAS face-lift)
Patients seeking facial rejuvenation surgery that are over 55 years of age derive the maximum improvement from a face-lift procedure.
Patients less than 50 years of age benefit more from other Facial Rejuvenation procedures, the facelift being a complimentary procedure. The heavy lines that a face-lift improves have resulted from many years of gravity and the action of the muscles of facial expression. Aging also causes a reduction in the layer of fat beneath the skin. This sagging and thinning takes years to develop and is not fully established under the age of 50.

SKIN RESURFACING (smoothing fine lines)
Skin resurfacing is a procedure that causes shrinkage and tightening of the skin envelope of the face. The imporvement is most noticable on the fine (crepe) lines of the eyelids and the lipstick bleed-lines of the lips. After a skin resurfacing procedure the skin is tighter, has a more uniform colour (pigmentary blothchyness is improved) and the skin texture is softened.
Methods of skin resurfacing are:
1) Laser resurfacing.
2) Chemical peels.
3) Dermabrasion.
Exposure to sunlight, wind, smoking and aging all contribute to fine wrinkling of the facial skin.
Acne scarring is also treated by skin resurfacing procedures. Medical insurance may pay for treatment of acne scarring.

A persistent surly look can result from the deep furrows between the eyebrows in people with active muscles of facial expression.
There are many methods of treating frown lines. Temporary paralysis of the muscles of facial expression results from Botox injections. Botox needs to be repeated every 4 months.
A method of obtaining a permanent improvement of frown lines is achieved by serial (2-4) fat injections. Fat is removed from an area of excess (eg.tummy) and injected into the hollow of the frown. The fat injections often have to be repeated until the grooves are filled up.

Caused by:
1) Obesity.
2) People of normal weight who carry excess fat in their necks.
3) Under development of the jawbone.
4) Age and gravity - gravity causes a continual sagging and descent of facial fat.
People of normal weight can develop jowels and fat deposits under their chin as a result of the slow settling of facial fat into the areas of dependency under the chin - gravity and time.
Treatment depends on the underlying problem:
1) Liposuction of this area is an excellent way of restoring the angle between the chin and the neck. Jowels can be removed at the same time.
2) The projection of the chin can be increased by placement of a chin implant.
Restoring the angle between the chin and neck with liposuction and occasionally also a chin implant, is a very satisfactory method of restoring a strong chin, good bone structure and facial profile.

People develop upper eyelid bags due to age, gravity and especially the overactivity of the facial muscles caused by the glare of bright light. The excess upper eyelid skin can overhang the eyelashes and reduce the person's ability to see.
Treatment is by surgical removal of excess skin and underlying tissues. The remaining skin with its fine crepe-like wrinkles can be tightened via laser resurfacing as a secondary procedure.

Acne scarring results from nodular cystic acne. Different types of scars can result.
Treatment of acne scarring depends on the type of scarring.
Treatment of acne scarring might entail:
1) Skin resurfacing with laser.
2) Skin resurfacing with dermabrasion.
3) Excision of scars.
4) Face-lifting.
Medical insurance may pay for treatment of acne scarring.

The tear-trough is the hollow shadow below the "bag" of the lower eyelid.
The above are caused by:
1) Many people have abnormal fat deposits in their lower eyelids. These "bags" are often noticed from childhood.
2) Cheek fat descends with time due to gravity. The fat just below the eyelids is contained in a pocket and does not descend with the cheek fat. This results in a hollow below the lower eyelid. Many people request removal of the "bag" below the lower eyelid. The problem is not the bag but the descent of the cheek fat and the resultant shadow caused by the hollow that has formed. Removing the bag of the lower eyelid may result in gauntness in time.
3) Bags around the eyes can result in excess skin. This is often as a result of an outdoor lifestyle associated with overactivity of facial muscles, occupational - welders etc.
Treatment of the above depends on the underlying problem:
1) People with eyelid bags from an early age - removal of the abnormal fat deposit.
2) Shadows below the eyes as a result of the descent of facial fat and thinning of cheek fat - treatment by lifting cheek fat and / or injecting fat into the hollows.
3) Excess skin and tissues around the eyes - surgical excision.
4) Laser resurfacing is often needed later to improve the fine crepe-like texture of the remaining eyelid skin.

The forehead skin and eyebrows descend with time due to the action of gravity and the muscles of facial expression, resulting in a sombre "hang-dog" look.
A brow lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the level of the eyebrow. The surgical technique employed to elevate the eyebrow is determined by the underlying problem.

This describes the deformity of the neck resulting from excess skin.
A turkey-gobbler neck deformity usually occurs in thin people or after weight loss.
Treatment is by surgical excision.
Different techniques are employed to correct the problem.

Thin lips can be "plumped out" by injections. There are various injectable preparations available. Permanent augmentation of the lips is obtained with fat injections. Usually about three fat injections sessions are required to obtain lip fullness.
Fat is removed from an area of excess (eg.tummy) and injected in thin columns, thereby increasing the volume of the lip in a serial fashion.

The cause of spider veins on the face is not known. There is an association between:
1) Exposure to the elements.(sunlight and wind)
2) Hereditary.
3) Alcohol.
4) Hormones.
A vascular laser is a very effective treatment of all of the above in people with a fair complexion.

The projection and contour of the chin can be improved by placement of a chin implant.
A "strong chin" is associated with masculinity and good looks in men.
Men often hide their weak chin behind a beard.
Facial beauty - the chin in women enhances a good bone structure.
Patients often believe that their facial proportions would be improved by surgery to reduce the size of the nose. Their problem is often one of underdevelopment of the chin. Placement of a chin implant restores normal facial proportions.

Ears need operative correction when:
1) Too prominent.
2) Abnormally shaped.
Correction of ear abnormalities can be done at any age, but is usually done before a child begins school.
Medical insurance will often pay for ear corrective surgery in children.

A Rhinoplasty is a procedure performed to change the shape of the nose.
A Rhinoplasty is often necessary following trauma, to straighten the nose or to correct breathing problems.
A nose can be corrected by:
1) Straightening.
2) Shortening.
3) Narrowing.
4) Changing the profile or hump.
5) Altering the shape of the tip.
6) Altering the shape of the nostrils.
A Rhinoplasty is a major surgical procedure that can take up to three hours. Patients are required to wear a plaster cast on the nose for approximately ten days.
Following nose corrective surgery the final result will not be apparent for up to one year.
Medical insurance may pay for nose reconstruction following trauma or if there are concomitant nasal airway problems.

Hair growth can be restored to areas of the scalp following loss due to balding and injuries.
Small groups of hairs with their roots are transplanted from an area of the scalp, where there is good hair growth and where balding will not occur to the areas of hair loss.
The newly transplanted hair takes a few months before it starts growing. Hair transplantation is done in multiple stages. The size of the bald area and the thickness of the hair will determine the number of stages.

Dupuytrens Contracture is a condition affecting the hands of mainly people of European origin.
The process affects the palms of the hands and results in contraction of the skin of the hand that results in permanent "curling up" of the fingers.
The little and ring fingers are the most commonly affected fingers.
Correction of the deformity involves excising the affected tissue in the palm of the hands.
Medical insurance would usually pay for correction of Dupuytrens Contracture.

Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and tissue of the lower abdomen.
Abdominoplasty is performed for:
1) Excess stretched lower abdominal skin following massive weight loss or childbirth.
2) Lower abdominal excess following separation of the abdominal muscles.
3) Removal of stretch marks and scars of the abdomen.
4) Correction of excessive skin of the abdomen caused by hernias.
Abdominoplasty is a major surgical procedure that takes two hours. One or two nights hospitalization is required.
Abdominoplasty is a very effective method of correcting the lower abdominal excess that dieting, weight loss and exercise will not correct.

Liposuction or Liposculpture is the removal of fat through a small (3-5mm) incision.
Liposuction is most effective in removing diet-resistant fatty deposits in people with good skin tone.
Liposuction is not a treatment for excess fat / obesity.
The following areas are successfully re-contoured with liposuction:
1) Love handles on hips.
2) Jodhpurs on thighs.
3) Fat pads above knees.
4) Double chins and facial jowels.
5) Fatty breast tissue under the armpits.

Absent or under-developed calf muscles are enlarged by placement of calf implants.

Under-developed or unequal cheekbones are enhanced with placement of cheek implants.

The skin is often over-stretched as a result of gross obesity. Massive weight loss reults in redundant skin.
Various surgical procedures remove redundant skin:
1) Arm reduction.
2) Abdomen reduction.
3) Thigh reduction.
4) Breast skin reduction.

One side of the chest may be underdeveloped due to the absence or underdevelopment of the pectoralis muscle from birth.
Symmetry can be obtained by placement of a pectoral implant. Bilateral underdevelopment of the pectoral muscles can occur - this is corrected by placement of bilateral pectoral implants.

Skin tags are harmless growths of the skin. Skin tags are easily removed with minimal scarring. Indications for removal:
1) Snag on clothing and jewelry.
2) Unsightly.
3) Irritated by friction.
4) Cut while shaving.

Birthmarks can often be successfully treated with modern laser. Successful
treatment depends on:
1) Size.
2) Location.
3) Colour of birthmark.
5) Colour of skin.

Moles are a normal part of the skin. Moles can occasionally change and become cancerous.
Reasons for removal of moles:
1) Unsightly.
2) Snag on clothing and jewelry.
3) Cut while shaving.
4) Analysis for cancer.

Warts are unsightly growths on the skin caused by a virus. There are many treatments to remove warts. The treatment of warts is associated with a high rate of recurrence. The treatment of warts with a vascular laser reduces the rate of recurrence. Warts on the soles of feet are called plantar warts. Plantar warts are associated with an especially high rate of recurrence. The recurrence rate of plantar warts is significantly reduced if the defect on the sole of the foot, following removal, is surgically reconstructed and not merely left to heal.

Sunspots are rough patches on the skin often red or white in colour. Sunspots are caused by accumulated ultraviolet light exposure.
There are various treatments for sunspots.

Scars are more noticeable if they are:
1) Stretched.
2) Differ in colour from the surrounding skin.
3) Unyielding and raised.
4) Not in the same direction as natural skin creases.
Large ugly scars can result following burns and deep abrasive injuries.
Scar correction usually involves multiple surgical procedures.

The skin can be left with ugly impregnation tattoos following abrasive injuries. Most tattoos are acquired voluntarily!
The removal of tattoos depends on:
1) Size.
2) Location.
3) Depth.
4) Colour of tattoo.
5) Colour of skin.
There are various techniques for removing tattoos, including surgery and laser.

Rodent ulcers are cancerous growths of the skin associated with exposure to ultraviolet light.
Rodent ulcers need to be surgically removed.
Medical insurance would usually pay for treatment of rodent ulcers.

The loss of a uniform skin colour is due to aging and sunlight.
Fine wrinkles, texture and colour variations are improved by a resurfacing procedure.


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 Dear Friends
Our goal at NYC Dermatology is to be the Tiffanys of Skin
Care. I personally see every new patient who visits our office. I am not just a physician, I am a Board Certified Dermatologist. My goal is, quite simply, to provide the type of dermatologic care which I  would seek for my own family. This is a very important point, since physicans often use the phrase "Doctor's Doctor" to refer to those individuals who typically are selected by physicians themselves for personal care. I am confident that my practice fully meets that definition. This is the type of 5-star care and service that our patients expect, deserve and receive. I treat every patient the way I would want to be treated: with courtesy, dignity and respect. I carefully listen to their skin-care concerns and offer a variety of options including a treatment plan that I believe will give them the best results and the best dermatologist. We also support our patients with a very fine medical staff . Please take a moment to explore our top of the line winning website. My philosophy is simple…Experience Counts and Quality Matters. Please allow me to solve your skin problems.  After all, at NYC Dermatology , our philosophy is if you look great you will feel great with gorgeous skin.”
Best Regards,
Dr. Rothfeld

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  • Freckles
  • Genital Warts
  • Keloids on the Ears
  • Chemical Peels
  • Lip Enlargment
  • Rosacea
  • Mole Removal
  • Restylane
  • Skin cancer checkup
  • Vitiligo
  • Genital Warts
  • Pre -Skin Cancers
  • Eczema
  • Hives
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Rashes
  • Acne Scars
  • Acne treatments
  • Keloids
  • Photo Facial
  • Radiesse
  • Cosmoplast
  • Plantar Warts
  • Dry Skin
  • Wedding Day
  • Chemical Alopecia
  • Androgenic Alopecia
  • Fat Injections
  • Chin Implants
  • Complexion Problems
  • Scalp Problems
  • Pimples
  • Acne Scarring
  • Cystic Acne
  • Juvedem
  • Uneven Complexion
  • Collagen
  • Cosmoplast
  • Cosmoderm
  • Zyplast
  • Zyderm
  • Keloids
  • Acne Scarring
  • Hypertrophic Scarring
  • Glycolic Chemical Peels
  • TCA Peels
  • Eyebrow Transplatns
  • Eyelashes Transplant
  • Dark Spots
  • Androgenica Alopecia
  • Chemical Alopecia
  • Traction Alopecia
  • Dermatologists
  • Keloid
  • Wart
  • Warts
  • Lasers
  • Laser Skin Tightening
  • Laser Titan Facelift
  • Acne Photodynamic Therapy
  • Foto Facial
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Herpes
  • Scabies
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Titan laser

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NYC Dermatology is a full service cosmetic dermatology practice under the direction of Dr. Rothfeld. We offer the latest, most innovative treatments for skin. All of our treatments are customized to your specific needs.

Our mission is to provide high quality skin care services with minimal downtime to our patients, and to educate our patients on properly maintaining skin health. We strive to provide education first on the skin care procedures and products we offer, allowing our patients to make informed decisions about their skin care.

Dr. Gary Rothfeld is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon who specializes in aesthetic procedures. Dr. Rothfeld cares for all types of skin conditions with a special emphasis in the areas of cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery.  Dr. Rothfeld was raised in New York , and as a young man was drawn to the performing arts and creative writing. A strict academic upbringing led him into science and medicine instead. After many years of rigorous training followed by preceptorships and mentorships that added to his skill and experience, Dr. Rothfeld has found art again. Dr. Rothfeld stands on a foundation of science but is now able to express himself creatively in the world of aesthetic medicine.

Every patient is a unique palette of conditions, goals and temperament that require delicate consideration, and sometimes inventive solutions. Dr. Gary Rothfeld is able to provide the entire gamut of dermatologic services, including medical dermatology, injectables, laser treatments and surgery. This gives him a range of possibilities when evaluating a patient. Combination treatments are often tailored to provide the patient with results ranging from subtle to dramatic.

Dr. Rothfeld strives to listen and understand the patient's specific goals and concerns, and provide them with satisfying results. NYC Dermatology endeavors to make the patient's visit as comfortable and pleasant as possible, making their best effort to take the pain out of beauty. Dr. Gary Rothfeld and his staff approach their work with absolute joy and infectious enthusiasm, which is felt throughout his practice.

Trained in Dermatology, NYC Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist NY Dermatology Dr. Gary Rothfeld possesses the special knowledge, skills and professional capability that distinguishes him as an outstanding  Dermatologist in NYC , Manhattan , New York at NYC Dermatology by Board Certified Dermatologist. Top New York City Dermatologist, Dr. Rothfeld  in Manhattan treats the most difficult cases until the problem clears.  Dr. Rothfeld, a Board Certified Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology in Manhattan, New York is caring, detailed, and meticulous and will never give up until the problem is cleared.  Dr. Rothfeld, a board certified dermatologist in nyc who practices Dermatology in Manhattan, New York has treated many patients in the entertainment and music industry is caring, detailed and meticulous and will not give up until the condition resolves.  Dr. Rothfeld is recognized as one of the best Dermatologists in NYC by the entertainment industry.

NYC Dermatology is under the medical supervision of Dr. Gary Rothfeld, a Board Certified Dermatologist.
To enhance every aspect of your skin care, Dr. Rothfeld has personally created a superb line of cosmetic procedures..

NYC Dermatology by Board Certified  Dermatologist Dr. Gary Rothfeld  is a board certified NYC  Dermatologist with a  New York City office in Manhattan, New York  providing expert skin care, dermatology, and cosmetic dermatology services.

A board certified dermatologist in NYC specializing in dermatology and dermatologic surgery including state-of-the-art cosmetic surgical procedures, Dr. Gary Rothfeld  is known for his attention to body symmetry and his dedication to meeting patients’ personal goals. His specialties include full body liposuction using the tumescent technique, facial fat transplantation, Botulinum injection into facial lines and laser resurfacing. NYC dermatology  specializes in chemical peels, vein injections, laser, restylane, Perlane, Botox injections, JUvederm, non-surgical facelifts, collagen implantation and treatment of skin cancer.
As an expert in the field of dermatology and cosmetic dermatologic surgery, Dr. Rothfeld is has appeared on national television shows. Dr. Rothfeld has also been quoted in many high profile national magazines.
Our goal at the manhattan office of Board Certified  Derrmatologist , Dr. Gary Rothfeld is to create an atmosphere of professionalism, trust and complete patient satisfaction at the NYC Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Manhattan, New York.  Dr. Rothfeld, Dermatology Director of NYC Dermatolgy is a Board Certified  Dermatologist at NYC Dermatology who has treated many patients in the  entertainment industry.
   Schedule an appointment at our office which provides top of the line  expert skin care, dermatology, cosmetic dermatology services, and advanced dermatology laser treatments for cosmetic needs and medical skin conditions. We offer a full range of services including surgery for skin cancer, laser hair removal, Botox®, the Fractionated Resurfacing laser, Titan laser, and acne photodynamic treatments. Our main goal is to provide you with the most effective and advanced treatment. Join the NYC Laser Center NYC Dermatology Mailing List Our periodic newsletters include exclusive offers, educational articles, as well as free treatment & product drawings! Email: in our Media  office and   including different offers and many more. We offer a variety of services from Botox® to Liposuction . Please contact us with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment online or by phone for a consultation.   Beauty Is Forever!  and Dr. Rothfeld  at NYC Dermatologist has over 20 years of experience with his beauty tips. 

During your office consultation  and examination you will be provided with a detailed plan of the treatments that will benefit you most.  NYC Laser Center NYC Dermatology top laser dermatology center offering skin care, dermatolgy,cosmetic dermatology services, and laser treatments for sun damaged skin, acne, acne scars, rosacea, pigmentation, laser hair removal, broken blood vessels, as well as superficial and deep wrinkles. We offer patients in Manhattan,  services including general dermatology, wrinkle fillers such as Restylane®, Captique,  Perlane,Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast, Radiance® (radiesse) and Sculptra. We also offer Botox®, Cosmelan, Velasmooth, Fotofacial, Titan laser, Refirme, and the Fractionated Resurfacing laser. in the treatment of acne, rosacea, skin cancer and  surgery.  Dr. Rothfeld has taught numerous other physicians on the proper use of Botox®, medical hair transplants, and lasers in  the country.   Acne Photodynamic Treatment - Botox® - Botox® for Hyperhidrosis - Cellulite - Cool Laser  - Cosmelan Depigmentation Treatment - Glycolic Acid Peel - Fat Transfer - Fotofacial / IPL Fractionated Resurfacing Laser - Hair Loss - Laser Hair Removal - Liposuction -  - Surgery - Minimal Scar Technique -  Photodynamic Rejuvenation Radiance® - Restylane® - Sclerotherapy - Sculptra - Smoothbeam - Stretch Marks - SunFX - TCA Peel - Tattoo Removal - Titan Laser Facelift - V-beam Laser Treatments - Velasmooth Our cosmetic surgeon includes Dermatologist  Dr. Gary Rothfeld Board Certified Dermatologist  at NYC Dermatology.  Our NYC dermatologist offers advanced dermatology laser treatments for cosmetic needs and medical skin conditions. We offer our services to Manhattan , Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens locations through our Manhattan office in NYC


Sun Protection


Ultraviolet radiation is the major cause of skin cancer, including melanoma. It is important for everyone to be aware of its damaging effects and take measures to avoid overexposure.

Although many people enjoy the appearance of tanned skin and think it looks "healthy," tanned skin is damaged skin. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight penetrates the deepest layers of the skin where it harms the cells. The body responds by making more pigment (melanin) to try to protect itself, but the damage has already happened and may be permanent. The more exposure you have to the sun, the more likely you are to develop skin problems later in life.

Ultraviolet Radiation

The damaging part of sunlight is called ultraviolet radiation, or UV rays. It is categorized into three types:

  • UVC rays (wavelengths = 200 nm to 290 nm) are the shortest and most powerful of the UV rays. UVC is the most likely to cause cancer if it reaches skin. Fortunately, most of it is absorbed by the ozone layer in our atmosphere. However, there is concern that a thinning of the ozone layer may be causing more UVC to reach the earth's surface.
  • UVB rays (wavelengths = 290 nm to 320 nm) are less damaging than UVC, but more of it penetrates to the earth's surface. It is the most common cause of sunburn and skin cancer. UVB is particularly strong at the equator, at high elevations, and during the summer.
  • UVA rays (wavelengths = 320 nm to 400 nm) are the least powerful of the UV rays, but they are present all year and can penetrate windows and clouds.

Sun Protection

The first and more effective way to avoid sun damage is to stay out of tthe sun as much as possible.

If you cannot avoid being exposed to sunlight, there are five basic defenses that you should keep in mind when you go outdoors:

  • Avoid peak hours of sunlight
  • Sunscreen
  • Clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Shade

Avoid Peak Hours of Sunlight (UV Index)

In general, UV rays are the greatest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is best to avoid the outdoors during these hours without protection, particularly during summer, in tropical regions, or at altitude. During this time, you should pay close attention to the appropriate use of sunscreen, clothing, sunglasses, and shade.

You can obtain an accurate measure of the amount of UV rays in your area by looking up the Ultraviolet (UV) Index. The UV Index is like a weather forecast. It provides a report on the amount of damaging UV rays that are expected to affect a region on a particular day. The UV Index changes day to day according to time of year, cloud cover, atmospheric ozone, and other factors.

The following table is a breakdown of the UV Index. A high UV Index number means that you are at greater risk of being exposed to ultraviolet radiation. You should take special care to avoid outdoor exposure to sunlight when the UV Index is moderate or greater.

  • 0 to 2 = Minimal
  • 3 to 4 = Low
  • 5 to 6 = Moderate
  • 7 to 9 = High
  • 10 or more = Very high

The UV Index can be found on our Website or in local papers, usually in the weather section.


There are several factors to consider when selecting the right sunscreen. (See the Sunscreens handout for more information.)

Sun protection actor (SPF) - Sunscreens are rated by the amount of protection they provide from UVB, measured as the "sun protection factor" or SPF. Sunscreens with higher SPF provide greater protection from the sun. It is best to use sunscreens that offer a minimum SPF of 15.

Broad-spectrum sunscreens - It is best to use a sunscreen that can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. These are called "broad-spectrum" sunscreens.
Most of the original sunscreens blocked only UVB, but increased awareness of the damage caused by UVA has lead to the development of ingredients that protect against UVA too. Broad-spectrum sunscreens combine ingredients to provide a product with greater protection.

Common sunscreen ingredients that  provide protection from UVB rays:

  • Cinnamates
  • Octocrylene
  • PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)
  • Padimate O and Padimate A (Octyl Dimethyl PABA)
  • Salicylates

Common sunscreen ingredients that  provide protection from UVA rays:

  • Avobenzone (Parsol 1789)
  • Benzophenones (oxybenzone, dioxybenzone, sulisobenzone)

Sunblocks - "Physical" sunscreen ingredients lie on top of the skin and work by reflecting or scattering UV radiation. They are particularly useful for people who are sensitive to the ingredients found in other sunscreens. Sunblocks often contain one or more of these ingredients:

  • Zinc oxide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Iron oxide

Although past formulations were unsightly (often leaving a white film on the skin), newer "microfine" formulations are invisible after being applied. Microfine titanium dioxide is effective at protecting from both UVA and UVB rays.

Water resistance - Sunscreens are classified as "water-resistant" if they maintain their protection after two 20-minute immersions in water. They are classified as "waterproof" if they maintain their protection after four 20-minute immersions. You should seek a water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen if you will be participating in water sports, such as swimming or water skiing, or will be actively sweating.

However, independent testing has shown many products do not perform well in the real world. So it remains a good idea to apply sunscreen every time you leave the water, or frequently if you are actively sweating.

Using a Sunscreen

Sunscreen should be applied evenly and liberally on all sun-exposed skin within 30 minutes before going outside to give sunscreen time to take effect. (Sunblocks are effective immediately after being applied.) Sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours or following swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply frequently at least every two hours.

The chemicals may lose effectiveness over time, so it is important to throw away sunscreen that is past its expiration date or is over two years old.

No sunscreen is 100% effective; take additional measures to avoid the damaging effects of the sun's rays.


Clothing can provide excellent protection from the sun. However, not all clothing is protective. A thin, wet, white t-shirt will provide almost no protection from UV rays. When selecting clothes for sun protection, consider the following:

  • Cover your head, shoulders, arms, legs, and feet.
  • Use a hat that is broad-brimmed (brim should be at least four inches wide).
  • Wear fabrics that are thicker or with a tight weave; these allow less sunlight to penetrate the skin.
  • Wear darker-colored clothes that absorb more UV rays.
  • Wear clothing made from nylon or Dacron because it is more protective than cotton.
  • Avoid remaining in wet clothes because wet fabric may allow more UV rays to penetrate the skin.
  • Wash clothing with chemical absorbers to increase their protectiveness.
  • Some clothing comes with a UPF rating that stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor." This measures the ability of the fabric to block UV radiation from penetrating to the skin. A fabric with a UPF 15 allows only 1/15th (6.66%) of the UV radiation to penetrate your skin as compared to uncovered skin.

Garments fall into 3 categories:

  • Good protection: UPF = 15 to 24
  • Very good protection: UPF = 25 to 39
  • Excellent protection: UPF = 40 to 50+

Choose clothing with a UPF rating of at least 15. Keep in mind that the UPF of a garment will decrease over time as the fabric wears.


Overexposure to sunlight can cause cataracts and macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness. Sunglasses can provide protection. However, not all sunglasses are of value. A darker lens itself does not guarantee protection. Look at the label to ensure that the glasses provide UV protection. Sunglasses should be large enough to shield your eyes from many angles. Look for sunglasses that are described as blocking 99% or 100% of UVA and UVB. The glasses may also be described as providing UV absorption up to 400 nm.


If possible, remain in the shade when outdoors. Keep in mind that shade does not provide full protection from the sun because UV rays can bounce off reflective surfaces, such as sand, snow, water, concrete, or even porch decks. In addition, some fabrics used as shade devices, such as parasols or umbrellas, may not provide sufficient protection. If you seek shade under a cloth, look for a fabric that is thick, tightly woven, and dark-colored.

Clear window glass provides protection from UVC and UVB, but not UVA rays. If you are frequently exposed to sunlight while driving, the plastic interleaf of your windshield (which prevents it from shattering) can help block the light, but side windows have no such protection. Non-drivers can make use of additional window shade devices. Drivers in some states may be able to use darkly-tinted glass in the side windows, but this is illegal in some states.


  • Avoid the sun when its UV rays are strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater. Apply it 30 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun and reapply every two hours. Consider using a water-resistant sunscreen if you will be active (sweating) or in the water.
  • Use a sunblock on your lips.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat when outdoors.
  • Wear sunglasses.
  • Wear tightly woven, dark clothing to cover your arms, legs, and feet.
  • Stay in the shade when possible.
  • Avoid reflective surfaces, such as water or snow.
  • Avoid sunbathing.
  • Don't be fooled by cloudy days since damaging rays can penetrate clouds.

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Open 7 Days A Week — Se Habla Español

NYC Dermatology - Manhattan Dermatology - Skin Institute of New York - Skin Cancer Doctor- NYC Cosmetic Dermatology-  Cosmetic Dermatological Surgery - New York City - Board Certified Dermatologist

Manhattan Office 

 Dr. Gary Rothfeld
NYC Dermatology - Board Certified Dermatologist - New York, NY
30 E. 60th St. Ste. 805
Manhattan, New York 10022

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