Summer means sun, shorts, sandals, bathing suits, and bronzed skin. Who doesn’t want to be outside, sunbathing, swimming, playing catch on the beach or just grilling out in the backyard?
While summer means fun in the sun, make sure you’re not getting too much of a good thing. Whether you’re spending your time lounging by the pool, swimming in the ocean or enjoying a walk through the park this summer, you’re bound to be out in the sun.
Although some exposure is healthy, too much can be harmful. Avoid the consequences of overexposure to sun like sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer, by practicing proper sun protection.
The hours between 10am and 4pm are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the continental United States. UV rays are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.
The CDC recommends these easy options for sun protection:
1. Wear Sunscreen
Use a sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher (up to 50) and that says “broad-spectrum” on the label (means it will provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays).
Sunscreen wears off. So, you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Because most people use too little sunscreen, make sure to apply a generous amount.
Check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years, but its shelf life is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.
2. Protect your Skin with Clothing:
When you are out in the sun, wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible.
Loose‐fitting long‐sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. A wet T‐shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one. Darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors.
If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T‐shirt or a beach cover‐up. Keep in mind that a typical T‐shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.
3. Wear a Hat
For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.
A baseball cap protects the front and top of the head but not the neck or the ears, where skin cancers commonly develop. So if you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using sunscreen with at least SPF 15, or by staying in the shade.
4. Wear sunglasses that block UV rays
Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. Most sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard.
5. Seek Shade
You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.
Follow these summer skin care tips to ensure that your skin is protected and stays healthy this season. Don’t Get Burned!!!
For more information visit www.cdc.gov