Sun damage builds up over time. It is important to use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy. We’ve put together some tips for sun protection to take into consideration for the upcoming hot Summer months:
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Other types of sunscreen may help prevent sunburn, but they will not protect against skin cancer.
- Use a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
- Apply at least 1 tot/shot glass of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Reapply sunscreen to your entire body every 2 hours. Reapply every hour if you are swimming or sweating.
- Sunscreen creams are better for dry skin. Gels are better for the scalp or hairy areas.
- Wear sunscreen/sunblock year round whenever you are outside.
- Do not use sunscreens/sunblock if they have expired.
- Limit sun exposure between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when the sun’s rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, you should find shade.
- Be extra careful around water, snow, or sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, increasing your risk of getting sunburned.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat that shades the face, neck, and ears. Dark clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks more sun than white or loosely woven fabrics. For additional protection, look for clothing made with special sun-protective materials.
- Wear sunglasses with 100% UV absorption. They will provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
- Be even more cautious if you are taking medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun. These include specific types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies.
- Keep babies younger than 6 months old completely covered and in the shade.
- Avoid recreational sunbathing.
- Do not use sun lamps, tanning beds, or tanning salons.
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