(Tips for Staying Safe in The Sun)
Sun Protection? Here’s How:
First and foremost, avoid sun exposure! Think of your skin as a tape recorder, recording every second of sun exposure your skin receives. Walking to your car, driving during daylight hours, or just walking to lunch during your mid day break are all sources of exposure to ultraviolet light. Over your lifetime, these changes accumulate in the skin, ultimately showing themselves as dark spots, premature aging, and changes leading to the development of skin cancer.
Use Sun block!
Using a sun block should be as routine as brushing your teeth. You should never leave your home during daylight hours without an application of a broad-spectrum sun block. Look for one that is SPF 30 (a measure of ultraviolet B protection) and has ingredients that also block ultraviolet A rays. Although there is no convenient rating for ultraviolet A protection on the label of commercial sun blocks at this time, the Food and Drug Administration is making changes so that consumers will be able to identify sun blocks that offer the best protection for both types of ultraviolet light. For now, ask your dermatologist to recommend an effective broad-spectrum sunblock. Be sure to apply your sun block liberally allowing time for it to be absorbed and rubbed in uniformly.
If you are planning to be out of doors for more than 30 minutes, you should carry sun block with you and reapply. It is never sufficient to apply sun block once in the morning and expect it to offer continued protection for the rest of the day.
Put on Sunblock!
Read more: Sun block basics
Wear Sun Protective Clothing
Sun protective garments include a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses that protect against both ultraviolet A and B, long pants and long sleeved shirts that fit loosely and gloves when necessary.
Protect Your Environment
Glass windows in our cars do not screen out all of the ultraviolet rays. Therefore, we are continuously exposed to ultraviolet radiation while we drive. Using an ultraviolet screening film applied to the car’s windows is one way to limit one’s exposure. Also, when enjoying outdoor activities such as the beach or sporting activities, using a parasol to block the sun is very helpful. Try to avoid outdoor exposures between 10 AM and 4 PM if at all possible. Also, remember that ultraviolet exposure is made worse in reflective environments such as near water or in snow or sand.
Never Use Tanning Beds
Despite mounting concern over the use of tanning beds and sun damage and skin cancer, many people continue to seek out this unwise behavior. Such purposeful ultraviolet light will lead to premature aging of the skin and increased risk of skin cancer including deadly melanoma. If a tan is a sought after look, consider using a sunless tanner for the same effects without dangerous ultraviolet exposure.