Fun in the sun. It’s what we’re all seeking this summer, perhaps more than ever before. It is important to keep in mind, however, that where the sun is concerned, there can be too much of a good thing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer rates are on the rise, with more than 7,000 projected casualties in 2021. There are also numerous other dangers stemming from extended exposure to the sun, including nasty burns, skin spots, damage to the eyes, and more, which is why taking the necessary precautions is so essential to having a fun, yet safe, summer.
The following sun safety tips bare repeating, no matter how many times you may have heard them before:
- Limit direct exposure: The sun’s UV rays are strongest and most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek ample shade periodically. Make certain that your skin is aptly covered when it is exposed. Consider wearing light, sun-blocking attire, and wide-brimmed hats for protection. And when out on the beach…
- Choose a quality sunblock: SPF 30 or higher. That’s what you should aim for in a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against the sun’s UVA and sunburn causing UVB rays. Be sure to cover all exposed skin thoroughly, and reapply every two hours while outdoors, particularly after swimming or excessive sweating. A sunscreen rule of thumb: The higher the SPF, the higher the protection. However, as the number increases, the difference in efficacy narrows (the difference between an SPF 50 and SPF 100 is approximately 2 percentage points). The most important thing to remember is that no sunblock offers complete protection from the sun.
- You’ve gotta wear shades: It’s not a fashion statement (although go ahead and make it one). The bottom line is that the sun’s rays reflecting off of the sand and the surf exposes your eyes to increased UV radiation, which can cause long lasting – if not immediately recognizable – damage. When choosing sunglasses, however, don’t simply grab a pair of dark lenses. Tint does not directly correlate to defense. Instead, look for glasses that offer 100% UV protection – or a UV 400 rating – for maximum protection.
Keep in mind, the sun’s radiation does not discriminate – and everyone is susceptible to sunburn and other damages, regardless of skin color. There do exist a few factors that put individuals at higher risk. They include:
- People with blonde, red, or light brown hair.
- People with particularly pale skin.
- People who are being treated for skin cancer or who have had family members with skin cancer.
As you head back to the beach and to the pool for some fun and relaxation this summer, be sure to follow these simple sun safety tips, and take the necessary steps to keep your skin healthy. Remember: Quality First Urgent Care is standing by should you need assistance with sunburns or other minor injuries. Contact us today to learn more.