Take the proper precautions to prevent skin problems.
By now most people know that too much exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of skin cancer. Sunlight can also trigger problems in people who are taking certain prescription medications. Enjoy the summer sun, but make sure you take steps to protect your skin.
Put on Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen to exposed parts of your body reduces your exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays. Follow these guidelines for buying the right sunscreen and using it properly:
- Choose a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and one designed to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply it generously to all exposed parts of the body.
- Put on the first application of sunscreen about 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors, then reapply every two hours.
- If you’re going to be in the water or sweating, use products with longer-lasting formulas designed for those conditions. Put on more sunscreen after you get out of the water.
Avoid the Sun
If possible, limit your time in the sun by:
- Staying inside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are strongest
- Seeking shade from a tree or building
- Creating your own shade with an umbrella or canopy
Choose the Right Clothes
For outdoor apparel, choose:
- A wide-brimmed hat
- Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Sunglasses that screen out both UVA and B rays
Also, consider buying clothes with special ultraviolet protection. These items are rated on an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) scale that goes from 15 to 50. This clothing is especially helpful for:
- People with extremely light or extra-sensitive skin
- People spending time outdoors where sun exposure is strongest, such as at high altitudes or near water
At Sparks Regional Medical Center, we know summertime means having fun in the sun. But make sure you protect you and your family’s skin. And if outdoor activities lead to accidents, our Boreham Emergency Center is ready to help 24/7. If you have other medical needs and want help setting up an appointment with one of our doctors, call 479- 709-3627 or 877-709-3627.