Protecting Your Skin From the Summer Sun: Things You Need to Know

As great as it can be bathing in the summer sun, you want to be aware of the risks associated with exposing skin to the sun’s rays for a long time, especially without protection. You can still have a good time in the summer sun, but knowing and following a few of these tips can help prevent the risks of harmful sun exposure and protect your skin from the summer sun. 

What Does the Summer Sun Do to Your Skin?

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet light: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the most dangerous of the two and are more commonly found in artificial ways, like tanning beds. UVB rays are the main reason you wear sunscreen, but your body doesn’t give up on the fight without adapting to the sun. 

When you tan in the sun, your body creates more melanin that helps combat the effects of the sun’s rays. Occasionally, these mutations turn into skin cancers, which is why you’re at higher risk of skin cancer from the sun’s rays in the summer months. 

Avoid the Sun When It’s Most Intense

When the sun is most intense, you are at the highest risk for sunburn than at any point in the day. Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm, and try staying in the shade for as long as possible. Wear protective clothing and tight woven fabrics and reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you’ve been in the shade for a long time and are heading back out into the sun.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!

Sunscreen is arguably the best protection you have to prevent sun damage, and you should apply sunscreen every time you’re in the sun during the summer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30 and SPF 30 lip balms are recommended to protect your skin from the sun.

If you spend a lot of time swimming or sweating, your sunscreen will deteriorate even faster. Be proactive with your coatings if you’re spending a ton of time out and about. In general, spray sunscreens are considered less effective than creams and should be used in conjunction with cream products.

Use Protective Eyewear

Use sunglasses or transitional eyeglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Glasses should provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection, and fortunately, there are plenty out there for all budget types. If you suffer from macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, consider getting an amber or brown lens to help with contrast, but don’t forget to prioritize UV protection. 

Be Aware of Medications That Impact Your Sun Sensitivity

Certain medications impact how your body reacts to sunlight, so take note of any prescribed medications you’re on or any common over-the-counter medications you may have taken. Benadryl, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen are a few common over-the-counter medications that could impact your condition, and certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and antipsychotics can affect your skin’s sensitivity.

What About Kids?

Sun damage can be extremely damaging to children, and because skin damage accumulates over time, you want to avoid excessive sun exposure and protect your skin from the sun. Any child over six months should regularly have sunscreen applied every time they’re exposed to the sun. Babies younger than six months shouldn’t be using sunscreen and should use protective clothing and shade instead to avoid sun damage. 

Regular Skin Checks Are a Must

Have you been in the sun for long periods throughout your life? Maybe you’re a younger individual curious about their skin health. Regardless of your status, it would help if you get regular skin checks from a local doctor that can help identify any skin conditions that might end up plaguing you. 

If you’re a resident of Newtown, PA, or living in surrounding cities, consider Signature Medicine Center For Wellness & Healthy Living and reap the benefits of an on-demand concierge medicine physician. Contact us today and learn more about Signature Medicine’s risk assessment program that can help identify and address any potential risk factors due to sun exposure or other issues.

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