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Protect your skin from the sun with these sun safety basics

Protect your skin from the sun with these sun safety basics

There’s so much to love about our community during the summer, including outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, pool time and more! First things first, though: Protect your skin from the sun.

While we may love the way the sun feels—and lights up our lives—it can be dangerous to exposed skin. When you head outside, take steps to protect your skin with these tips from Lakeside Hospital.

Shining a light on how UV rays affect skin

When the sun’s shining, it’s emitting ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and don’t make it to the earth’s surface.

UVA and UVB rays, however, pass through the ozone layer, and UVA and UVB radiation can harm your skin and your health. UV exposure can accelerate skin aging, leading to wrinkles and age spots, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Each year, millions of people are diagnosed with some type of skin cancer, but most cases can be prevented with some simple precautions.

YoU’Ve got options for protecting your skin

Protecting yourself from UV exposure requires a multifaceted approach. Here are the basics:

Start with sunscreen. Around 20 minutes before you go outside, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin. This includes the skin that’s exposed when you go outdoors, but also think about any parts of your body that may be exposed while you’re outside, such as the skin on the back of your neck when you pull your hair up.

Revisit your sunscreen. Sunscreen isn’t something you can “set and forget.” Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours while outdoors and even more often if you’re sweating excessively or swimming.

Pop on a pair of sunglasses. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses that provide UV protection. Look for a label that identifies the sunglasses as having a UV400 rating or 100% UV protection. Wraparound frames can provide extra protection.

Seek shade. It may be tempting to hang out in a lounge chair next to the pool, but you’re directly in the path of UV radiation when you do that. Instead, plant yourself under an umbrella, an overhang or a patio to get away from the harsh rays of the sun.

Choose your outdoor time wisely. The sun’s rays are most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so spend time outside during the early morning or evening when possible. The UV index can also help you decide when to plan outdoor time. You can find an updated UV index in most weather apps and on the local weather forecast. Stay indoors when the UV index is identified as “very high” or “extreme.”

Plan your outfit for the heat. You might be thinking of a tank top and shorts, but clothing with a little more coverage is better for protecting your skin. When it’s practical, protect your skin with long sleeves and pants, and choose clothing made of tightly woven fabric. You can also look for clothing with UPF protection, which is the clothing equivalent of SPF.

One last step before you head outside—pop a broad-brimmed hat on your head! Not only will it add an extra touch of style to your outfit, but the hat will also protect your scalp, ears, nose and face.

Find quality care for all your healthcare needs at Lakeside Hospital