Fun in the SUN
Jun 15, 2017 04:34PM
● By Dia
If you’re ready to soak up some rays and work on that summer tan, you may want to think twice before heading out into the sun.
Admittedly, the sun has some great health benefits. Sunshine can improve your mood and provide essential Vitamin D to help your body absorb calcium for stronger bones. However, it doesn’t take much sun exposure to get the amount your body needs. Most people are at greater risk for too much time in the sun which can be damaging to your skin and extremely dangerous to your health.
The negative effects of the sun come from too much exposure to the different kinds of ultraviolet rays being emitted. UVA rays can cause deep, unseen skin damage that leads to wrinkles or skin cancer. UVB rays, perhaps more familiar to us since they cause visible sunburns, also lead to increased risk for melanoma, eye damage, or immune system suppression. Interestingly enough, sunscreen, ranked by SPF or sun protection factor, only measures protection against UVB rays.
When you’re out buying sunscreen this summer (which is a must), here’s what you need to know: The SPF scale is a little deceiving. The higher the SPF, the smaller the difference is in sun protection. Here’s a general idea for how much protection you’re getting from each SPF:
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB radiation
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB radiation
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB radiation
SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB radiation
No sunscreen can completely block the sun, so remember that sunscreen is only one step in your sun protection routine. Always aim for an SPF of 30 or higher and select a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, providing protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
When applying, an adult needs about 1 ounce (2 tablespoons or about a fistful) for the whole body. And since “water-resistant” does not mean water-proof, make sure to reapply every two hours and even more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
In addition to wearing sunscreen, keep these tips in mind this summer to stay safe during your fun in the sun:
1. Cover up. Thin, wet, or light-colored clothing only provides an equivalent to SPF 4. Tightly-knit, darker fabrics provide more thorough protection for your skin.
2. Wear a hat. For the best protection, wear a wide-brimmed hat without holes. If you wear a ball cap, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ears and neck.
3. Don’t be afraid of shade. If you have to be outdoors all day, minimize your time in direct sunlight. Plan ahead to bring a tent or umbrella or stake out areas of shade for retreat.
4. Don’t get burned. Every time you get a sunburn, your chances of developing melanoma increase.
5. Remember that not all sun rays are equal. Rays are strongest from 10am - 4pm. Altitude, latitude, time of day, season, and types of clouds all affect the strength and intensity of the sun’s rays.
Be aware that people with light-skin are at higher risk for sunburn and sun damage because they have less melanin in their skin to absorb harmful UV rays. While those with darker skin can still be affected by UV rays, fair-skinned folks should take extra precautions to avoid sun exposure.
For any sunburns you or your family may experience this summer, treat symptoms with aloe vera gel, cool bath or compress, anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen, or hydrocortisone cream to help with pain and itching. In the case of severe sunburn or blisters, the doctors at Complete Care are here for you. We’ll get you treated quickly, feeling better, and back to fun in the SHADE in no time!
This article was sponsored by Complete Care.
Complete Care is your nearest complete care ER, with 21 locations in Texas. Located at 321 W Southlake Blvd #140, Southlake, TX 76092
817.809.2089 | www.visitcompletecare.com