Fourth of July is this weekend, and we’re sure you’ll be spending some time in the sun. You don’t have to hide from the rays, but learn how to safely soak up the sun and prevent skin damage with these tips!
Approximately 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65% of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. What does this mean? Protect yourself from the sun!
Basically, the “sun protection factor” (also known as SPF) is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin. Most SPF of 15 or higher will do a good job of protecting against those harmful UVB rays. This is how it works: using a SPF 15 sunscreen prevents reddening 15 times longer than unprotected skin alone. So, if it takes 20 minutes for you to start noticing red skin, then a SPF 15 would prevent that reddening for 5 hours. BUT, that does NOT mean you only need it once every 5 hours. To be safe, you should reapply at least every 2 hours (more often if you are swimming or sweating). When shopping for sunscreen, you should look for the “broad spectrum” label. This means that the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t Forget A Hat
Hats and caps are a great way to prevent skin damage. Choose a wide-brimmed hat (3 inches or larger), that covers hard-to-protect areas such as your ears, neck, and scalp. Additionally, take a break indoors every so often if possible. Sometimes shade doesn’t quite cut it, as it allows harmful UVB rays to indirectly reach the skin.
Sun Shade Vision
Over time, the sun can damage the skin around your eyes, as well as your eyes themselves. For this reason, if you’re going outside, wear sunglasses! Sunglasses protect against UV rays as well as prevent damage to the lens and cornea. Typically, the bigger the frame, the better the protection!
We don’t want you to hide from the sun this Fourth of July, but we do want you to prevent skin damage! So don’t forget, wear sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF of 15 or higher), a hat (3 inch brim, please!) and sunglasses…and have a HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!