Love spending time in the sun? Here are 6 tips to protect your skin from sunburn
Summer is here, and with it the strong sun rays!
Sunburn is an often painful sign of skin damage from spending too much time outdoors without wearing a protective sunscreen. Years of overexposure to the sun lead to premature wrinkling, aging of the skin, age spots, and an increased risk of skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you love spending time in the sun, here are some safety tips to help protect your skin:
When outside, try staying in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.
When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts, which can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing is certified under international standards as offering UV protection.
For the most protection, wear a hat that has a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunburned eyes become red, dry, and painful, and feel gritty. Chronic exposure of eyes to sunlight may cause pterygium (tissue growth that leads to blindness), cataracts, and perhaps macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, according to the CDC.
Put on a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher before you go outside. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. Sunscreen works best when combined with other options. Sunscreen wears off. Put it on again if you stay out in the sun for more than 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. And check the sunscreen’s expiration date - sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years.
It’s best in the first six months to keep infants out of the sun rather than use sunscreen on their sensitive skin. Clothing should cover the baby's vulnerable arms and legs, and don’t forget to use hats, sunglasses and stroller sun shades. For toddlers, in addition to providing a protective hat and clothing, you can apply sunscreen to children starting at six months.