Exposure under the hot summer sun can wreak havoc on your skin, and the damage goes beyond just a sunburn. The long-term risks that come from harmful UV rays are much worse than spending a few minutes applying sunscreen. Plus, who doesn’t want healthier, beautiful skin?
Wearing sunscreen is one of the smartest things that you can do when outdoors. Of course, preventing sunburn is high on the list of sunscreen priorities, and for good reason. Sunburn comes from spending extended periods of time outside without sunscreen, but it can also happen in tanning beds. The damage caused by sunburn includes blisters, premature aging, and even skin cancer.
You don’t need extremely strong sunscreen either. Regular application of an SPF 15 sunscreen can lower the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and can lower melanoma risk by 50 percent. Everyone should be wearing sunscreen, including both those that tan easily and those that don’t.
When you know you will be outside, try to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before taking your first step into the sun. In fact, you should still apply sunscreen when it is cloudy, as 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation will still reach the earth.
While sunscreen does a lot of the work in protecting your body from damaged skin, you can take other measures to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Find some shade, either under an umbrella or a tree, and wear clothing that will cover a lot of skin. If long sleeves are not practical, a T-shirt will do much better than nothing. You can better protect your face, ears, and neck by wearing a hat, and sunglasses won’t just make it easier to see in the bright light, but they will also reduce the risk of cataracts from UV rays.
Take the appropriate measures to not only protect yourself from the sun but also from your friends and family. Encourage them to apply sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. If possible, try to move outdoor activities to the shade, or avoid scheduling activities when the sun will be at its strongest. Remember to reapply sunscreen every so often, and stay hydrated.
Wearing sunscreen does much more than just protecting that outermost layer of skin, but it can keep your skin and body happier and healthier. For more information on how to protect you and your family from the sun’s UV rays, call Christian Healthcare Centers today at (616) 226-2669.