The weather is warm and the sun is shining…and you’re ready to head outside to enjoy all the beauty Colorado has to offer. Right?
But before you head outdoors this summer, it’s important to make sure you’re doing all you can to protect your skin. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Centennial wants to share some sun safety basics.
Is the Sun Dangerous?
Yes, it can be! Time spent under the raging sun can increase your risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke.
But the biggest issue is that the sun emits ultraviolet rays. Two kinds, UVA and UVB rays, make it down to earth—and both can cause damage to our skin and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Every person of every age, race and gender is at risk of skin cancer.
Harmful Effects of the Sun
- Increased signs of aging, like wrinkles
- Increased risk of sunburn
- Increased risk of heat rash and other skin irritation
- Increased risk of skin cancer
What Can I Do to Safeguard My Skin?
Your first and best defense is to apply sunscreen when going outdoors. You might think you only need sunscreen on days it’s sunny outside, but you’d be wrong! The sun’s UVA rays can make it to earth even on cloudy days.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor, or SPF, of at least 30 at least 30 minutes before going outside. It should be applied to all exposed skin.
Other Sun Safety Practices
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours while outside.
- If you’re getting wet or sweating, reapply more frequently.
- Try to avoid time outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- If possible, seek shade when you’re outside.
- Wear a lip balm containing sunscreen to protect your lips.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your ears, scalp and nose.
Feeling under the weather? Schedule an appointment with AFC Urgent Care Centennial for a diagnosis and treatment plan.