With warmer temperatures ahead, children out of school for the summer, and more time spent with outdoor activities, now is the time to start thinking about sun safety.  The warm sun’s rays make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look good.  But, exposure to sun also causes many of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces and is the number one cause of skin cancer.   This makes it so important to incorporate skin cancer prevention habits into our outdoor plans and adopt a sun-safe lifestyle.

With a few key tips, you can spend time outside and be safe in the sun.

  1. Apply Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and then at least every 2 hours, and after swimming, sweating, or drying off. 
  2. Wear sunglasses to help protect your eyes
  3. Keep cool in the shade. Shade can reduce your risk of skin cancer and skin damage.
  4. Cover up by wearing lightweight clothes that cover your whole body like long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and hats to keep your skin protected
  5. Avoid Direct Sun between 10:00am and 4:00pm as this is when the sun’s rays can hurt you the most.
  6. Avoid “laying out” or “tanning.”  There is no such thing as a safe tan, because tanning itself is caused by DNA damage to the skin.  Tanning increases skin cancer risk and can lead to wrinkles, blemishes, and age spots later in life.

By following these tips, you can enjoy outdoor activities safely this summer and avoid long-term damage to your skin.  If you have any questions about sun safety, or any concerns about your skin health, please call or visit any of our GCH Clinics.

Josh Strehle, DO