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Sun Safety Tips

Sun Safety Tips

Taking steps to lower your risk of skin cancer

Summer months and warm weather are fast approaching! This time of year makes everyone eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. “When spending time outside, keep in mind that protecting your skin from the sun is an important part of overall health,” says BMC Dermatology Medical Director, Dr. Christina Lam. "People who get too much exposure to the sun are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer."

Here are some tips for enjoying your time outside, while protecting yourself from the sun’s powerful rays.

Don't Stay out in Direct Sunlight for too Long

Sunlight is strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. If possible, avoid being outside in direct sunlight for too long during this time period. Remember, even on cloudy days, UV rays from the sun are able to reach the ground.

Wear Clothes that Protect your Skin

When spending time in the sun, try to wear clothes that cover as much of your skin as possible. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants or skirts will provide the most protection, because they cover the most skin. Dark colored clothes are more protective than light colored clothes and clothes that are tight to your skin will provide more protection than clothes that are loose. Wear a hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim to protect your ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.

Use Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Dr. Lam recommends using a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Sunscreens can be labeled with SPFs as high as 100+. The higher the SPF, the more protection you have from the sun’s rays. Keep in mind, however, that no sunscreen will protect you completely. Also, be sure to check the expiration date on your sunscreen to make sure it will still be effective in protecting your skin.

Practice these sun safety tips and be sure to have a fun, skin-conscious summer!