Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays is vital for a number of important health reasons. Here are the top ten steps you can take to protect your health:
• When possible, avoid outdoor activities during the hours between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
• Always wear a broad-spectrum (protection against both UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
• Be sure to reapply sunscreen frequently, especially after swimming, perspiring heavily or drying off with a towel.
• Wear a hat with a 4-inch brim all around because it protects areas often exposed to the sun, such as the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
• Wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts are the most protective. Dark colors provide more protection than light colors by preventing more UV rays from reaching your skin. A tightly woven fabric provides greater protection than loosely woven fabric.
• To protect your eyes from sun damage, wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100-percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
• Consider wearing cosmetics and lip protectors with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin year-round.
• Swimmers should remember to regularly reapply sunscreen. UV rays reflect off water and sand, increasing the intensity of UV radiation.
• Some medications, such as antibiotics, can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information about the medications you are taking.
• Children need extra protection from the sun. One or two blistering sunburns before the age of 18 dramatically increases the risk of skin cancer. Encourage children to play in the shade, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen regularly.
Source: American Cancer Society