Sunny days beckon people to go outside and enjoy the outdoor activities that warm weather facilitates. Days at the beach, hiking, biking and just lounging at the pool are wonderful ways to enjoy the warm weather, but it is not without risk. Skin cancer risk is higher amongst those that get repeated damage to their skin from overexposure to UV/UVA rays. Yet, we all want to enjoy our time outdoors. Without shutting yourself inside, here are some tips to avoid damage to your skin from the harshest UV/UVA rays.
- Sunscreen. There was a time not so long ago that only those prone to burning wore sunscreen. It is now known that everyone should wear sunscreen to protect their skin from damage from UV/UVA rays, even when the sun is not out. Higher SPF sunscreens filter out more of the damaging rays and should be applied every two hours to exposed skin when outdoors.
- Wear protective clothing. While UV/UVA rays can penetrate clothing, they offer more protection than just sunscreen. Shade your scalp and face with large brimmed hats during the peak sunshine hours, usually 10 am to 4 pm, and as much clothing as comfortable.
- Know when and where is most dangerous. The harshest UV rays from the sun are during the peak hours (10 am-4 pm), in areas closest to the equator (Florida and other southern states in the U.S.), in direct sunlight, at higher elevations and near reflective surfaces like water or snow. These areas require a more stringent regimen to prevent skin damage.
There are also certain people that are more prone to skin cancer and should avoid strong UV rays or use extra protection. Talk to your dermatologist about your risk factors and what you can do to minimize skin cancer risks and damage to your skin.
Posted on behalf of:
Kayal Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists
141 Lacy Street, Suite 200
Marietta, GA 30060
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