How to Protect Yourself From Sun Damage
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is a leading cause of skin damage, aging, and skin cancer. While some sun exposure is beneficial for our health, excessive exposure can have harmful effects.
Protecting yourself from sun damage is essential, especially during the peak hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest. And while hiding under a black umbrella is undoubtedly one of your many fashionable options, it’s not the only one.
Let’s take a look at some tips and strategies for protecting yourself from sun damage.
Remember to Put on Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your skin from sun damage. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and ensure it provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, and ears, at least 15 minutes before you go outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
Wear More Clothing to Protect Your Skin
Clothing is another effective way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats that shade your face and neck. Choose clothing made of tightly woven fabrics that block out the sun’s rays. Some clothing brands even offer clothing with built-in UV protection!
Seek Shade to Avoid Harmful Rays
The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to seek shade during these hours. Bring an umbrella or sit under a beach cabana if you’re at the beach. If you’re hiking or walking, try to stay in the shade of trees or buildings. Shade is a simple and effective way to protect your skin from sun damage.
Wear Good Quality Sunglasses
Protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. Sunglasses also protect the delicate skin around your eyes from sun damage and reduce the risk of developing cataracts later in life.
Avoid Tanning Beds
Tanning beds emit UV rays that can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. It’s best to avoid tanning beds altogether and opt for a natural tan from spending time outdoors (with proper sun protection, of course).
Remember to Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is important for overall health and can also help protect your skin from sun damage. Drinking plenty of water can keep your skin healthy and prevent it from drying out, which can make it more susceptible to sunburn and damage.
Always Check Your Medication and Supplements
Some medications, such as certain antibiotics and acne medications, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. If you’re taking medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if it increases your risk of sun damage, and take extra precautions if necessary. Some common herbal supplements, such as St. John’s Wart, can also make you more susceptible to sunburn.
Be Sun Smart
Finally, being sun smart means being aware of the risks of sun exposure and taking steps to protect yourself from sun damage. Be mindful of how much time you spend in the sun and take extra precautions if you’re at high risk of skin damage or skin cancer. Keep an eye on your skin and see a dermatologist if you notice any changes, suspicious moles, or spots.
What Are Signs of Sun Damage or Skin Cancer?
Sun damage can cause a range of skin problems, including sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. The signs of sun damage can include dry, rough, and discolored skin, as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sun damage can also cause dark spots or hyperpigmentation and in some cases, skin cancer.
The signs of skin cancer include the appearance of a new, unusual mole or a change in an existing mole. Other symptoms of skin cancer include a sore that does not heal, a lump or bump on the skin, or a rough patch of skin that becomes scaly or bleeds. It’s essential to monitor your skin for any changes and to see a dermatologist if you notice anything unusual. Early detection and treatment are key to successfully treating skin cancer.
Enjoy Sunny Days Without the Sun Damage
Protecting yourself from sun damage is essential for maintaining healthy skin and reducing the risk of skin cancer. By following these simple tips and strategies, you can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. Remember, it’s never too late to start protecting your skin, so start taking action today!