Stay Safe in the Sun
Anthony Janiga, M.D.
Dermatologist, Advanced Clinical and Surgical Dermatology, Ltd.
As summer approaches and more people begin to spend time outside and take advantage of the sunny days, keep in mind that there are risks involved in getting too much summer sun. During the hot summer months, staying out of the sun when UV light is at its most intense from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the best protection. Since many people enjoy the summer during these peak hours, here are some things you can do to help protect your skin.
Wear sunscreen and reapply— No matter if it is cloudy or clear, you need to apply sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation to all exposed skin. Apply sunscreen 30 to 90 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply it every two hours and after exercising, swimming or sweating. A sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks out 97 percent of the burning UV rays. Sunblocks made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are best.
Cover up — Covering up with long-sleeved shirts, pants and a hat provides the most protection from the sun’s harmful rays. You should also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA
and UVB radiation.
Take precautions on sand and water — The sun’s rays reflect off of water and sand, increasing the intensity of the radiation.
Stay hydrated — You can become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids while in the sun. Water is the best for staying hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these beverages can increase dehydration.
Avoid tanning booths — Like the sun, they can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.