Summer is a favorite season for many, especially for us proud Tennesseans! The sun is shining, the warm temperatures have returned and there are always so many fun activities to do around town.
While you are busy planning out the best summer ever, make sure you include plans on how to keep your skin safe from the harsh rays of the summer sun. Over time, sun exposure can be harmful to your skin and your overall health.
Our AFC Urgent Care Farragut team explains how to keep your skin safe while enjoying all of your favorite summer activities below, so read on.
Why Should I Protect My Skin?
Getting the proper amount of sun exposure can sometimes feel tricky. We need to expose our skin to sunlight to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, but at the same time, you are exposing your skin to harmful UV, or ultraviolet, rays. These rays can damage your cells’ DNA over time, leaving you with premature skin aging, sun spots and even skin cancer.
To start, you should have a reliable sunscreen on hand wherever you go. This is important year-round, but especially during the summer season. The sunscreen you choose should be broad-spectrum and have an SPF of at least 30, and you need to be reapplying it every two hours while you are outside. Yes, this should still be happening if you are spending most of your time in the shade.
Tips to Enjoy the Summer Safely
- Avoid being outside when the sun is the strongest.
- Take frequent breaks in the shade.
- Wear sunglasses and protective clothing.
- Move outdoor activities into a shady spot.
How Can I Dress to Protect My Skin?
If you are heading outside to an event that has no shady spots, you can use your clothing choices to help you stay safe. Long pants and sleeves can help block the UV rays, but aren’t always realistic in the heat of the summer. Certain clothing brands sell clothing with UV ray-blocking properties that can help protect your skin, and you should wear sunglasses when you can.
Additionally, a broad-brimmed hat can help protect the most sensitive areas of your exposed skin. Your scalp, neck, ears and face are all more susceptible to burns and sun damage, so a hat is a great protective choice! Plus, we guarantee that you will look pretty cool while wearing one.
Potential Indications 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
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 Farragut.