If summer is your favorite season, you definitely aren’t alone in that thought! The summer months are a favorite among many due to the warm days and bright sunshine. As you get ready to have a summer to remember, it is important to protect yourself against the dangers of the sun.
Even though the sun can feel really nice on your skin, do what you can to minimize long-term exposure. The sun can damage your skin and leave you with painful burns and potential skin issues down the road.
Our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team wants you to enjoy this time of year safely, so check out our tips on avoiding sunburns below.
What Is Sunburn?
A sunburn is a painful reaction that happens when your skin is exposed to too much UV, or ultraviolet light. This light is found in the sun’s rays, so whenever your skin is exposed to the sun (even through clouds), it is absorbing these rays. The reaction of a sunburn usually goes away in a few days, but the damage done can be permanent to your skin cell’s DNA.
Over time, this damage can increase your risk of developing sun spots, premature wrinkles and even dangerous forms of skin cancer. Skin cancer can pop up in a single spot or it can spread to entire areas of your body.
Common Signs of Skin Cancer
- A new change to your skin, like a growth or sore
- A changing mole
- Skin itchiness
- The appearance of a lump under the skin
How Can I Protect My Skin?
If you don’t already have a trusted sunscreen that you use daily, it’s time to head to the store. You really should be applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 whenever you are outside, even if it is cloudy. Sunscreen works to protect your skin from the UV rays, and it should be reapplied at least every two hours while you are outside.
In addition, you can dress to protect your skin! Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and consider investing in UV protection clothing. You should also take frequent breaks in the shade and stay hydrated.
Treating a Sunburn
- Apply a cool, wet cloth to the skin.
- Apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stay out of the sun.
Sun safety is crucial throughout your life. If you are worried about a potential sign of skin cancer, come see us at AFC Urgent Care Hixson.