Safe Fun in the Sun

Use Sun screen while outside in the sun

Safe Fun in the Sun 

Everyone has done it. It is a beautiful day and you decide to go outside to work in the garden or go swimming or take a walk. When you get back in, you find yourself with hot pink or even red skin because you forgot to use sun protection before enjoying the outdoors. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 86% of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV rays. However, there are easy steps you can take to reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays. The World Health Organization recommends you seek shade, wear protective clothing, and apply sunscreen when spending time out of doors. 

In a 2017 study published by the National Institute of Health, it was found that a high SPF sunscreen offers more protection from UV rays than shade from a beach umbrella does. UV rays can bounce off bright surfaces such as sand, snow, and cement so it is important to find deep shade when outside. Deep shade would include trees near other trees offering dense foliage, buildings that block the sky, roofed areas, and large shade sails or pergolas with high UV rating on the material. 

Protective clothing can be found at most sporting goods stores. Long-sleeve shirts made out of fabric with a high UV protection factor are an easy and inexpensive way to stay protected while in the sun. While it may seem counter-intuitive to wear long sleeves during the summer, these shirts are made of lightweight, moisture-wicking material that remains surprisingly cool even during the heat of the afternoon. In addition to clothing that offers sun protection, add a hat with a tight weave and sunglasses that offer sun protection.   

Applying sunscreen is very important. Using a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) can greatly reduce the risk of sunburn. However, there are so many options for sunscreen available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen (sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF rating of at least 15. Also, it is important to remember to reapply every two hours, and after getting wet from sweating or swimming.  

 In your effort to reduce your risk of skin cancer, do not rely solely on applying sunscreen. If you combine sunscreen application with staying in good shade and wearing protective clothing you will reduce your risk.  

 Have fun in the sun this summer. But do so safely. 

If you have questions, please give us a call at 409-655-2770 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.


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