Having sun-safe summer fun by protecting your skin

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Spending time outside in the summer is a great way to stay active, reduce stress, and get vitamin D. It’s also important to make sure your skin is protected when spending time outdoors.

Too much sun can cause skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States. Most skin cancers are caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can damage skin cells.

Protecting your skin from UV rays is important all year round and not just in summer. You may also be exposed to UV rays on cloudy or cool days.

Here are steps you can take to protect your skin from the sun:

Sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that filters two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. It should also have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Put a thick layer of sunscreen anywhere you will be exposed to the sun at least 20 minutes before going outside.

It’s also important to reapply your sunscreen, as it fades. If you stay in the sun for more than two hours or swim, sweat or wipe, you must reapply.

Make sure your sunscreen is not expired. Its shelf life does not exceed three years and is shorter if it has been exposed to high temperatures.

Sunglasses: In addition to protecting your eyes from UV rays, sunglasses also protect the more delicate skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Most sunglasses sold in the United States block UVA and UVB rays.

Hats and clothing: Hats with an all-around brim that protects your face, ears and neck offer the most protection. Canvas works best and you should avoid straw hats which let in too much sun. If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and neck with clothing, sunscreen, or stay in the shade.

Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and skirts can also give you some protection from UV rays. Clothing made from tight-fitting fabrics offers the best protection as well as darker colors.

Shade: You should always wear sunscreen or protective clothing even when hanging out in the shade. Staying under an umbrella, tree or other cover can help reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer. Taking breaks in shaded areas is also essential during long days outside.

Other ways to protect yourself from the sun include planning activities in the morning or late afternoon to avoid maximum sun exposure.

Sunburn: A sunburn usually appears four hours after being exposed to the sun, gets worse for about 24 hours, and then goes away in 3 to 5 days.

Treatment: You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relieve pain caused by a sunburn. A cool, damp cloth can also provide relief, as can applying aloe or moisturizer. It’s important to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you have blisters, don’t break them. Lightly bandage the area to prevent infection. If more than 15% of your body is sunburned, if you have pain for more than 48 hours, or if you have a fever above 101 degrees, see a doctor.

If you have a sunburn, avoid further exposure to the sun until your skin has healed.

Provided by University of Kentucky

Quote: Have fun in summer out of the sun by protecting your skin (June 11, 2024) retrieved June 11, 2024 from .html

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