Welcome summer and the return to the great outdoors! The weather is inviting, and you’re anxious to get outside. But beware of the sun’s powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays.The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. For adults, it’s important to put on sunscreen before venturing out, even on cloudy or cool days because the sun’s UV rays are not blocked by clouds. Sunscreens work by interacting with the skin to absorb, reflect or scatter UV rays. Their ingredients vary per brand and now come in many forms (sprays, creams, sticks, powders…). If your skin reacts badly to one product, try another or call your doctor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends some easy protection for children and adults:
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
- Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing to protect exposed skin.
- Wear a hat or visor to shade your face.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around the eyes and block close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use sunscreen SPF 15 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection, and apply before going outside and every two hours.
Young children should avoid long sun exposure, even with sunscreen. To prevent sun damage, follow these guidelines:
- Under six months: No sunscreen and no direct sunlight.
- Six months to two years: Use PABA-free, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and lip balm with SPF 15.
- Wear hats with a brim to shade the face and neck.
By being safe in the sun, you’re not only promoting your own health and wellness, but also being a role model for your family, friends and co-workers.
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Disclaimer: The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of a physician. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to a physician.