Summertime Sun Safety Tips
As we continue to enjoy the beautiful summertime weather, it is important to remember to practice sun safety. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Excessive sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
Sunlight consists of two types of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that reach the earth – UVA and UVB.
UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and sun spots. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn. Since we live in cloudy northeast Ohio, many people assume that we do not have to worry as much about sun protection however the sun emits harmful UV rays year round, even on cloudy days.
Many people seek the “perfect tan” however UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds causes cancer. Tanning causes damage to your DNA. As this damage builds, you speed up the aging of your skin and increase your risk for all types of skin cancer.
Protecting Your Skin
The sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 2pm therefore you should seek shade during those times of the day.
Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to exposed skin. Broad spectrum sunscreens provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is important to remember to use extra caution when near water and sand as they reflect the damaging rays and can increase your chance of sunburn.
Sun Screen Tips from Dr. Poulos
Apply sunscreen to dry skin fifteen to thirty minutes before going outside. Two tablespoons of sunscreen is the preferred amount to apply to the full body. It is also important re-apply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily.
Sunscreens come in many different forms. I recommend sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sprays are preferred by some parents since they are easy to apply however the FDA continues to evaluate these products for safety and effectiveness.
Summer is the best time of year to relax and enjoy the outdoors, just remember these sun safety tips to also keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
-Georgann A. Poulos, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Poulos has a passion to protect her patients from skin cancer. Brecksville Dermatology offers full body skin exams, skin cancer screenings and treatments and products to reverse the signs of sun damage. Check your skin regularly and if you notice a concerning area call our office at 440.792-4802.