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Sun Safety

The Importance of Sun Safety

April 29, 2022

As we head into the warmer months, it is important to keep sun safety in mind. Whether or not you realize it, anytime you are outdoors the sun can have negative effects on your skin and your health. Continuing reading to learn more about sun safety and staying healthy this summer!

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The sun brings great weather, promising summer vacations and extra vitamin D. But all that sunshine isn’t always good for your skin and health. Too much exposure to the sunlight can result in sunburns, unwelcome wrinkles later in life and even skin cancer. To prevent damage from the sun, it’s important to take proactive measures. Applying sunscreen and staying out of the sun are just a couple of examples of ways to protect yourself.

Why is sun safety important?

The time it takes for a sunburn to develop depends on skin type, the time of day, season, and location of sun exposure. The sun’s rays contain ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can damage the skin in as little as 15 minutes. Although people with lighter skin are more likely to experience sun damage, people with darker complexions can also be at risk of sun damage.

It’s essential to protect yourself from the sun because UV exposure can cause long-term damage to your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Other risks of too much sun exposure include:

  • Heatstroke and dehydration
  • Breakdown of collagen that leads to wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eye damage in the form of cataracts and corneal burns

Using sunscreen to protect yourself

Sunscreen is an essential element of sun protection, but it is not enough on its own. People's most common mistake with sunscreen is that they don’t choose the right SPF number. A higher SPF offers more protection by filtering out more UVB rays from the sun.

An SPF 15 sunscreen will block 93 percent of the UVB rays from the sun, while an SPF 30 sunscreen will block 97 percent of the UVB rays from the sun. If you use an SPF 50 sunscreen, you can expect to filter about 98 percent of the UVB rays from the sun. The blocking potential of the sunscreen starts to cap at higher SPFs, such as SPF 70 and 100.

No sunscreen product will protect you indefinitely. It’s generally recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re active or getting wet.

Plan your day around the sun

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the sun is most powerful between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings time, so you’re most likely to get burned if you’re outdoors during these hours.

Plan activities for early morning or evening, when the sun won’t be as intense and avoid outdoor activities in the middle of the day.

The UV index measures the intensity of the sun’s UV radiation. It is higher on sunny days and lower on cloudy days, but it can still be high on overcast days. Don’t let a cloudy sky tempt you into staying out too long since clouds can still allow some UV rays through.

Other tips to protect yourself from the sun

In addition to sunscreen, there are other ways to protect yourself from the sun. For example, you can limit the amount of sun you are exposed to. Here are other sun safety tips you can follow.

  • Wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves and a hat.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun with a good pair of sunglasses.
  • Try to make sure you’re in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. Critical times to be careful in the sun include the late morning and afternoon, and during weekends and vacations when you’re likely to be outside for long periods.
  • Watch for skin damage and skin cancer signs, such as new spots or sores that don’t heal and changes in color or size of existing moles.
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Bottom line

If you’re heading out for the day, especially during summer, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected from the sun. Heeding these sun safety tips can help you take care of your skin and overall health. If you suffer from any sun-related issues and need prescription medication, Inside Rx can save you up to 80% off on brand and generic prescription medications.