Summer is here! Not only does this mean more outdoor activities but also more exposure to the sun. The sun produces ultraviolet (UV) radiation which can lead to sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer, the most common type of cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86% of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your family protected in the summer sun.
Which sunscreen do I choose?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a sunscreen with:
- Sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher
- Broad-spectrum protection against UV rays
- Water resistance
How do I apply sunscreen?
- Apply sunscreen first if going to wear insect repellent or make-up.
- Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes to sun-exposed skin before sun exposure and reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours.
- Reapply sunscreen more often when swimming or sweating even with sunscreens labeled as “water resistant” or “very water resistant.”
- The “teaspoonful rule” is the application of 1 teaspoon of sunscreen to the face and neck, 2 teaspoons to the front and back torso, 1 teaspoon to each upper extremity, and 2 teaspoons to each lower extremity.
What else can I do to protect my skin?
- Wear sun-protective clothing, such as dark colors, long-sleeve shirts, long pants, hats and sunglasses.
- Avoid sun exposure or seek shade between 10 AM and 4 PM when the UV light is the strongest.
- Check the expiration date of the sunscreen.
- Avoid tanning beds.
Have a safe and fun summer!