Although I have written about this in a previous post, I cannot emphasize the importance of wearing sunscreen. I know us New Yorkers can not wait to get outside but please remember to protect yourself in these harsh summer days.
Summertime is an excellent time to get out and enjoy the outdoors! Summer is perfect for hanging out on the beach, entertaining with backyard barbeques, and enjoying all types of outdoor recreation activities like hiking and camping. However, with all the time you spend outside, there is the higher risk of permanently damaging your skin and increasing your chances of skin cancer. Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is particularly deadly. On the other hand, there are some things you can do to protect your skin from the sun.
- Wear Sunscreen – The most important way to protect your skin while outdoors is to wear sunscreen and apply it often! There are many different brands of sunscreen, but the Centers for Disease Control suggests one with a SPF of at least 15. If you are planning to spend several hours outside, be sure to reapply it several times. The rule of thumb is that SPF determines how many minutes to wait before reapplying. For example, sunscreen with a SPF of 60 should be applied every hour. If you are swimming, try a waterproof sunscreen.
- Cover Up – Although summer invites us to wear shorts and tank tops, if you are spending all day outside, it might be better to cover up. Long sleeves and long pants can help prevent skin damage and cancer. The best times of fabrics are those that are lightweight and thin. Clothes with darker shades are also better at absorbing ultraviolet light. You can even find special recreational clothes with built-in SPF. Wear a hat with a wide brim to protect your head, neck, ears, and shoulders.
- Limit Activity at Certain Times – The sun shines most intensely between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Limit your exposure during those times and take part in activities in the early morning or evening.
- Avoid Sunbathing – Doctors agree that sunbathing is never healthy for your skin, especially for people that are fair-skinned or sensitive to sun exposure. Experts agree that there is no such thing as a healthy tan except those that come from a can!
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