Spending time outdoors during the summer months is often an enjoyable, relaxing experience. It’s fun to splash in the pool or sunbathe in the sand. Yet, every time you're outdoors, you are exposing your skin to the sun’s UV rays. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 15 minutes of UV exposure can damage your skin. What can you do about this? Here are some steps to help protect your skin.
Wear sunscreen every time you leave the house, even on cloudy days
The American Cancer Society recommends choosing a sunscreen that offers at least an SPF of 30. It should be a broad-spectrum sunscreen product to provide you with the highest level of protection. Apply it to your skin as a part of your normal routine any time you plan to leave your home even for short periods. If you are outdoors, reapply sunscreen at least one time every two hours. This should be done more often when you are sweating or swimming.
When choosing sunscreen, focus on the following:
- Be sure it specifically says it is a broad-spectrum product that protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Ensure that your sunscreen has a high SPF rating. Those that are SPF 50 block out about 98% of UV light.
- Look for products that are waterproof, not just water-resistant.
Stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible
Whenever you are outside, find shade and remain under it. Shade helps reduce the amount of direct exposure your skin gets. That’s important even when you are wearing sunscreen. It is best to choose a tree or a shaded area near a building. If you are going to the beach or a pool, bring an umbrella with you. This is one of the best ways to reduce the impact of the sun’s rays on your skin.
Cover your skin with lightweight clothing
While using sunscreen is important, it can be even better to simply keep your skin covered up. If you are likely to be outdoors for long periods of time, wear a lightweight pair of pants and a long-sleeved shirt. This helps to minimize the risk of UV rays directly hitting your skin. Keep in mind that if your shirt is wet, it will significantly reduce the amount of UV protection the shirt offers. To keep cool, choose light-colored clothing. However, avoid wearing white because sunlight can easily penetrate this color.
Protect your eyes with sunglasses
Many people don’t recognize that their eyes are also at risk for sun damage. Wear sunglasses to help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Look for sunglasses that block UVB and UVA rays for the best level of protection. This type of eyewear not only works to protect your eyes but can also help to limit the dryness and fine lines that develop around the eyes, which are a common sign of aging.
Also, keep your skin safe from tanning beds
In addition to taking steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays, it is also important to minimize sunlamp and tanning bed exposure. Even if these products promise to provide protection and limited exposure, they are still not good for your skin. They can cause long-term skin damage. In some cases, they can also contribute to the development of skin cancer.
If you do notice any signs of damage to your skin, seek out help. Don’t assume sunburn is no big deal. Rather, seek care from a skin care professional as soon as possible.
Be proactive by scheduling an appointment for your skin today
It’s always important to ensure your skin is in the best condition. To do that, come in to see Dr. Andrew H. Krinsky for an appointment. If you do have areas of fine lines and wrinkles from the sun, we can offer treatment options. Call us now to book an appointment or request an appointment online.