Summer is in full force. The sun is shining, the grass is green, the pools are open, annnnnnnnd you’re sunburned.
July is Ultraviolet Safety Month so we’re coming in hot (pun intended) with four tips to stay safe in the sun:
Protect your eyes.
Never underestimate the power of a good pair of sunglasses that offer broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection of 99 or 100 percent. Sun exposure can lead to the development of eye problems like cataracts, so it’s important to break out the shades when you’re in the sun.
Use sunscreen early and often.
Using an SPF sunscreen of at least 15 should be part of your daily routine on cloudy days and sunny days. You want to apply a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum coverage (UVA and UVB protection) and is water resistant at least 15 minutes before heading outside. Be sure to cover all exposed skin, including your lips, nose, ears, neck, hands, and feet, and remember to reapply every two hours.
Limit your time in the sun.
Fun in the sun is great until it isn’t. Be sure to take frequent breaks from sun exposure by taking cover under the shade, especially between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Outdoor activities are best planned outside of those peak hours.
Know the skin you’re in.
It’s important to do self checks to ensure that sun exposure hasn’t caused any changes to your skin. According to the Office on Women’s Health, “Look for new skin markings, like moles, bumps, scaly spots, or places where your skin has changed color. Watch moles for changes in size, texture, color, or shape. Take note if a mole has uneven edges, differences in color, or one half that is different than the other. You can also watch for moles, sores, or growths that continue to bleed, won’t heal, or look different from any other growth you may have. Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these changes.”