Staying Safe in the Sun

July is a great time to be outside. However, when the sun is in full force on the warmest days of the year, you’re more susceptible to its harshest rays.

While It’s good to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is good, it’s important to be safe and protect your skin.

Apply Sunblock Before You Go Outside

Many people know they are supposed to use sunscreen or sunblock. It’s a valuable line of defense from harmful rays.

Apply your sunblock before you go out.

Don’t wait until you’re outside because sunscreen and sunblock can take about a half hour to become effective.

If you know you’re going outdoors, apply it early.

Have the Correct SPF and Be Safe from UVA and UVB

The conventional wisdom is that the higher the SPF on a bottle of sunblock, the “better” it is.

This is partly true. Your sunblock should be an SPF of 30 or higher.

However, skin care expert Steven Q. Wang, MD and Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center states that past 50, higher SPF numbers don’t really make a difference and can give a false sense of security.

It’s best to choose a number between 30 and 50.

Additionally, your lotion should protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

UVB rays cause sunburns. UVA rays damage your skin in ways that can age it, such as causing spots or wrinkles.

Both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancer through prolonged and unprotected exposure.

Dress Appropriately

You don’t need to be covered head to toe when you’re out in the sun. Wearing too many layers can cause you to overheat, and that isn’t good either.

You should keep a pair of sunglasses and a hat on hand if there will be a lot of sunlight while you’re outside. Your eyes are sensitive to sunlight and require a little shade.

Additionally, having a spare, light shirt to wear when you’re not participating in activities such as tanning, or swimming is a good idea.

Don’t overexpose yourself to the sun. Stay lightly covered when you can.

Stay Hydrated

Heat and sunlight can leave you feeling dehydrated.

Keep a wet towel nearby to keep areas such as your neck or forehead moist.

Your body will soak in the water and stay cool and hydrated. If possible, going for a swim can help your whole body as well.

Be sure to drink water while outdoors. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as soda or energy drinks. These drinks can actually dehydrate your body more due to their high sugar levels.

Going outside during a day with good weather is a lot of fun. Keep yourself and others healthy so you’re having fun longer.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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