Sunshine… the beach… picnics! Ah, summer! I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin, but I also know that it can be dangerous. Harmful rays from the sun can cause all kinds of problems- from sunburn to skin cancer- if we’re not careful to protect ourselves. Take advantage of the warm weather and the sunny days – we can all use some extra vitamin D! – just make sure to take the proper precautions with these sun safety tips!
- Avoid the sun at peak times. The sun is hottest between 10 AM and 4 PM, so you should avoid being out in the sun during that time. Look for shady areas, or create shade with tents or umbrellas.
- Cover up. Wear hats, long sleeves and pants made of tightly woven fabric.
- Always wear sunblock. Even on cloudy and overcast days.
- Make sure you have enough protection. Your sunblock should have an SPF of 30 or higher, and be effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply sunblock at the right time. Ideally, 15-30 minutes before going out, so it has enough time to get absorbed by your skin.
- Be generous. Don’t skimp on the sunblock. You should apply about a shot glass full over your body, plus more for your face.
- Reapply often. Every two hours or so, or more often after sweating and swimming.
- Wear sunglasses. Make sure the label says they block UVA and UVB, to help protect your corneas and the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Check your medications. Taking certain medications can make you more sensitive to the sun, so check with your doctor or pharmacist and then make sure you take adequate precautions.
- Get regular skin checks. Know what’s normal for your skin and be on the lookout for any suspicious changes or new moles.
- Stay away from tanning beds. They are not safer than the actual sun, like some people like to believe. Tanning beds also have dangerous rays.
Summer is a great time of the year, so make sure you enjoy it safely!