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Staying Safe in the Sun This Summer

Warm temperatures, longer days, blue skies…they all signal the start of the summer, and isn’t it glorious? Of course, warm weather means more time spent outside and you must be protecting yourself and your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Here’s how to enjoy the summertime while still staying safe:

Stay in the Shade

The sun’s rays are at their strongest and most powerful between the hours of 10 am-4 pm. This means that if you have to go outside for any length of time that you should avoid direct exposure to the sun. This means sitting under an umbrella if you’re going to go to the beach or staying under the restaurant’s awning while eating lunch outside.

Wear the Appropriate Clothing

Your clothing can also block out some of the sun’s damage. You must wear clothing with tightly woven fabrics (hold the item up to the light; if the light doesn’t shine through then it can provide some protection. See-through clothing will not provide protection). Always wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat (especially if you’re going to be gardening or spending any length of time outdoors).

Do Not Skip the Sunscreen

While people realize the importance of sunscreen so many people still don’t wear it regularly. You should be wearing sunscreen every day. Yes, every day! Even on cloudy days and cold winter days. Why? Because the sun can still reflect off water and snow and penetrate through clouds to damage your skin. Wearing sunscreen every day without fail is one of the best summer safety tips you can adopt.

Know What Sunscreen to Use

You should look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your body and face about 30 minutes before going outside. Remember to reapply every two hours, or immediately after sweating or swimming.

Just Say No to Tanning Beds

You may think a tan looks healthy but it’s anything but. There is no safe or healthy tan, just ask your doctor. If you are someone who uses tanning beds you must stop using them right away, as they are not only causing wrinkles they can also greatly increase your risk for skin cancer.

Keep your skin safe all summer long and your skin will thank you for years to come. Of course, it’s also a good idea to visit a doctor once a year for an annual skin cancer screening. If you are concerned about keeping yourself and your family safe this summer, don’t hesitate to talk with your family doctor.

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