9 summer skin protection tips
Saturday, July 1, 2017
The summer sun may feel good, but it doesn’t do your skin any favors. Between skin cancer and premature aging, prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays does damage.
That’s why July is UV Safety Awareness Month.
As you prepare to show more skin, get ready to face the sun’s rays with these tips from Nick Grimm, PA-C, our dermatology services provider.
- Stay away from direct rays. The best option is to find shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are generally their strongest and most direct. These rays are most damaging to our skin.
- Get rid of old sunscreen. Check the expiration dates on your sunscreen. The chemicals in the sunscreen that protect your skin break down over time. Buy new sunscreen every summer.
- Aim for at least 30 SPF. Anything over 50 SPF is unnecessary. Most people think when you double a sunscreen you are getting double the protection, but that is not so. If you double the SPF, it means only that the percentage of rays being filtered goes up one or two percentage points.
- Reapply every 80 minutes. Set an alarm to remind yourself. If you’re sweating, getting wet or being active, you will probably want to increase this to every 60 minutes.
- Sun-protective clothing can be an option. Sun-protective clothing has a rating system called the Ultraviolet Protection Factor. A garment with a UPF of 50 only allows 1/50th of the UV radiation falling on the surface of the garment to pass through it.
- If you’ve had skin cancer you are at higher risk. It is vital that people who have had skin cancer take more precautions in protecting their skin. They are predisposed to developing skin cancer.
- Sunscreen with chemicals is better than no sunscreen. Some people like to use micronized metal sunscreens like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, especially on children. These sunscreens do not have the chemical composition of other sunscreens. However, if it’s a choice between not wearing sunscreen and having only chemical sunscreen available, opt for the protection.
- Wear hats. Broad-brimmed hats are preferred over baseball caps because they cover the ears and shade most of the face.
- The sun can affect you differently on the water. Be aware that when on the water, you get all the surface reflection off the water. The sun’s rays are bent at different angles, but you’re going to catch some direct rays. Be extra cautious and try to stay under a canopy if the boat has one.
- The closer you are to the equator, the more direct the sunlight. Be conscious of this difference when you are on vacation. Plan accordingly and take the proper precautions to make sure you don’t get sunburned.
To request an appointment for dermatology services at Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare Clinic, please use our online form.