4 Tips To Protect Your Skin in the Summer

summer beach fun

Summer has arrived, and with it comes dreams of beaches, yards, sports fields, and pools. It is essential to safeguard your skin from the sun’s harmful effects, especially if you are susceptible to sunburn. Though moderate sun exposure is beneficial, UV rays can inflict skin damage that may result in skin cancer within just 15 minutes. Here are a few sun safety tips to keep in mind.

Protect and Cover.

While this seems like a no-brainer — a hat, a UPF sun shirt, other sun protective clothing, and sunscreen on those exposed areas can go a long way towards avoiding sun damage. Wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection is also advisable. Protection should also be worn on cloudy days, as the harmful UV rays still penetrate the cloud cover.

Educate yourself on sunscreen.

Moderate sun exposure stimulates Vitamin D production which is good for overall health, so you don’t want to overdo it on sunscreen. However, if you’re going to be outside for a long period of time (over 2 hours), it’s essential. It’s important to note that SPF ratings on sunscreens do not double after 15; an SPF 15 provides about 94% protection whereas an SPF 30 provides about 97% protection. Commercial sunscreens also mostly contain toxic ingredients which can seep into the deeper layers of your skin and cause damage of their own, so natural sunscreens containing titanium oxide and/or zinc oxide would be more advisable.

Avoid the hottest part of the day.

If you limit your sun exposure between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM you’ll be more likely to avoid sunburn. If you must be outside during those hours, seek shade under an umbrella, tree or other kind of shelter.

Be aware of medications that increase sun sensitivity.

Some antibiotics and over-the-counter medications can make you more sensitive to sunlight and thus more prone to sun damage. These include antihistamines (like Benadryl), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin or ibuprofen), certain antibiotics (like Bactrim or Tetracycline), antidepressants, antipsychotics, hair loss medications like Rogaine, and some oral diabetic medications. Check with your pharmacist regarding your medication side effects.

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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is intended for reference only, not personalized advice, and should not be treated as such. For all medical conditions and decisions, please consult your physician or trained medical practitioner.