The warmer weather is here, and with that comes a lot of time out in the sun. While some sun exposure benefits our health by providing our bodies with essential vitamin D, it also presents risks that can lead to skin and eye damage, accelerated aging and even skin cancer.
There's no need to completely avoid the outdoors as long as you follow these simple steps to protect yourself from damaging UV rays!
• Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If you have fair skin or light hair use a sunscreen with a higher SPF. And use it liberally, covering your whole body (don’t forget your whole face and top of head).
• Use sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” that protects against two types of harmful rays: UVA and UVB.
• Use waterproof sunscreen - to make sure it stays on longer, even if you perspire or get wet.
• Reapply at least every two hours, or more if you’ve been swimming or are sweating.
Avoid the sun between 10am – 4pm
The sun is strongest during those hours, even on cloudy days. Schedule to do outdoor tasks such as gardening or lawn mowing in the morning or later in the afternoon when UV levels are lower if there is no shade in those areas.
Put on a hat
Preferably one with a wide brim to help shade your face, ears and neck.
Close-fitting wrap-around sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection will help protect your eyes.
Wear sun protective clothing
Lightweight, loose fitting, long-sleeve shirts or long pants that cover as much skin as possible will protect the best.
Avoid tanning beds
Although some people think that a tan gives them a ‘healthy’ glow, sunlamps and tanning beds give off ultraviolet (UV) radiation that pose very serious health risks. Not convinced? Read more about it here.
Have your skin checked yearly
Regular skin checks with a Board Certified Dermatologist can detect early signs of skin cancer before they spread. In addition to yearly checks, you should see a dermatologist anytime you detect any new or unusual spots on your body. For more information on what to watch out for, check out "The Warning Signs of Skin Cancer You Should Know About", written by ASC's Dermatology PA-C, Jessica Mangiaracina.
Dr. Ken Egan, Jessica Mangiaracina, PA-C, Sarah Tullo, APRN and Dr. Rand Werbitt provide complete adult and pediatric dermatology care at Advanced Specialty Care's dermatology offices in Danbury, Ridgefield, Norwalk and Stamford, CT. We also offer same-day dermatology appointments in our Danbury, CT office.