Advocacy and Research

Sun-Sational Summer!

By Riva Preil

It’s official- the sun is out and summer is in! Whether you are spending long lazy weekends by the beach or simply enjoying lunch breaks outdoors, now is as good a time as ever to review sun protection facts.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) A and B rays can damage skin IN AS LITTLE AS 15 MINUTES, even on cloudy days. From the perspective of your epidermis, the worst hours of the day are from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Sunscreen, which absorbs or reflects sunlight, should be reapplied every two hours (or sooner, if you have gone swimming or engaged in activities that produce sweat). Make sure your sunscreen is not outdated- three years is the maximum shelf life!
  • Use an umbrella or pop indoors every so often for shade breaks.
  • Wear loose fitting shirts with long sleeves and long pants made from tightly woven fabric when possible. Regular T-shirts do not provide the suggested SPF 15 amount. These garments provide better protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Also, dry clothes provide better protection than wet clothes. As far as head gear, canvas material protects better than straw hats or other products with holes (ex. visor).
  • For those who opt for indoor tanning thinking that it is safer than the sun…you may want to reconsider. Indoor tanning has been linked with certain cancers (ex. melanoma, squamous cell carcinomas, and ocular melanoma), and it should be avoided if possible.

Now, go ahead, apply that lotion, and go enjoy some summer fun in the sun!

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