10 Tips for Summer Sun Survival

Summer is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the sunny outdoors. 

But wait! Are you and your family protecting yourselves from sun damage and its detrimental effects on your long term skin health?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services named July Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Month, so it’s a great time to make sure everyone in your household is aware of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and how to protect themselves with these ten simple tips.

Sunscreen Smarts

  1. Use sunscreen of at LEAST SPF 15 any time you are outdoors. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection, and water resistance.
  2. Make sure to apply your sunscreen properly. Use at least one ounce every two hours you’re out in the sun. Reapply after excessive sweating or swimming, even if the product is labeled waterproof.  Apply your sunscreen BEFORE you go outside. It takes about 15 minutes to protect your skin. 
  3. Protect your pucker!  Apply a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher to your lip to protect them from sunburn and skin cancer, including two of the most common ones - basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Don’t forget other commonly missed areas, such as the ears and the tops of the feet. 

Download How to Select a Sunscreen Infographic

Understanding UV Rays

  1. Know your UV index. The Environmental Protection Agency rates daily UV ray intensity on a scale from 1-11. The higher the number, the greater your need for protection.
  2. Stay out of the direct sunlight. Try to avoid the most intense sun from 10am to 4pm. If you have to go out during those hours, try to find shade whenever possible. 
  3. Block UV rays with protective clothing and accessories: wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved clothing, and sunglasses labeled for UV protection.
  4. Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can make it through the clouds and damage your skin. 
  5. Reflective surfaces like water, snow, or sand reflect the UV rays on you … even under your hat. 

Other Helpful Hints 

  1. DRINK WATER! Avoid dehydration by starting each day with a HUGE glass of water and keep drinking throughout the day if you’ll be spending time outdoors in the sun.
  2. Check your meds. Many medications can make you more sensitive to sunlight and cause your skin to burn more easily. Check this list of common medications that can make you more sensitive to the sun - Photosensitivity Report Medications.

Are You Really Ready for Summer?

Take the “Do You Use Protection” quiz from the American Academy of Dermatology and see if you’re prepared to protect yourself and your family from the damaging UV rays in the summer sun.

Download AAD Do You Use Protection Infographic

Preventing sunburn and cumulative sun damage is important in protecting yourself and your family from signs of premature aging and skin cancer. 

But equally important are checking out suspicious spots and scheduling annual full-body screenings to catch changes to your skin as soon as they appear.

Don’t wait. Call Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater at (757) 461-1033 (Opt. 1) today to schedule your next appointment.  

Author
Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater, located in Norfolk, Virginia, provides comprehensive personalized dermatologic care to patients of all skin types, conditions, and ages. Medical director Jonathan Schreiber, MD, PhD and the entire professional medical team at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater approach dermatologic exams from the medical root of an issue, and similarly, cosmetic issues from the science of a treatment, using science-based support and results with the treatment services offered to patients.

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