Summer has arrived and that means many of us in the Northstate will be participating in outdoor activities. Whether you are out enjoying a kayak or swim on Whiskytown Lake, a hike to Burney Falls, or even just spending time in your garden, remember that the key to safely enjoying summer is to protect your skin from the sun. According to the American Cancer Society, ultraviolet rays are the number one cause of skin cancer.
At Owens Healthcare, we are committed to helping customers make good choices about their health. That’s why we’ve provided the following information on what you can do to avoid unsafe sun exposure.
Sun Safety Tips
When possible, stay out of the sun when it’s at its strongest, which is between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you will be out during this time, cover up as much as you can in dark clothes that are tightly woven, and wear a hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes. Limit your time in the direct sun by sticking to shaded areas, and finally, be sure to apply sunscreen on any body part left exposed.
How to Choose & Properly Use Sunscreen
It’s actually a good idea to use sunscreen throughout the year to protect your skin, even on days that are cloudier and cooler, but it’s particularly crucial to make sure you apply it liberally during the summer months. Keep in mind sunscreen can only do its job when used correctly.
• Choosing the Right Sunscreen: Since not all sunscreens are created equal, it’s essential to read the label before you make a purchase to ensure you’re getting the best protection. Look for sunscreens that specifically offer “broad-spectrum protection” to defend against both UVA and UVB rays. Select a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30, especially for children. Any number below that will not sufficiently filter out UV rays.
• Best Practices for Applying Sunscreen: Sunscreen should be applied 20-30 minutes before going outside to allow it to absorb into the skin. It should be reapplied every two hours, or more often if you’re sweating and swimming. Also, be sure to check expiration dates and replace any sunscreen that has gone past its shelf life.