Whether your idea of a summer day means lounging on the beach or hiking through the woods, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities. While many rejoice in the warmer weather that spring and summer bring, it’s vital to practice summer sun safety. This helps you avoid painful sunburns and drastically decreases your risk of developing skin cancer. As the most common type of cancer in the U.S., around 20% of all people will learn they have skin cancer by the time they’re 70.
What Makes the Summer Sun Harmful?
Throughout the year, the sun produces energy that contains ultraviolet radiation. This radiation is invisible to the naked eye; however, it can be felt on the skin.
Two different types of ultraviolet radiation, known as UVA and UVB rays, reach the Earth. While UVA rays are most likely to cause signs of aging, UVB rays are the ones responsible for burning the skin.
During the summer months, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun. This makes the UV rays stronger than at other points of the year when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.
To avoid the effects of UVA and UVB rays, it is essential to wear sunscreen and reapply as directed when outdoors.
Choosing Sunscreen for Summer Sun Rays
Opting for any sunscreen is certainly better than using no sunscreen at all, but not all sunscreens are made equally. Before stocking up on sunscreen for the family, explore the differences and keep these sunscreen safety tips in mind to see which is most suitable for you.
- SPF: One of the most important sunscreen safety tips to consider is the sun protection factor (SPF). This is typically found on the front label of the sunscreen and is represented by a number, like SPF 50. Dermatologists recommend choosing a product with an SPF 30 or higher. Sunscreen with this SPF can protect against 97% (or more) of UVB rays. Keep in mind,SPF only provides protection against UVB rays and burning.
- Broad Spectrum Sunscreens: The phrase “broad spectrum” offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. These products must undergo strict testing to carry the term on the label and feature an SPF number. This type of product is your best bet for maximum sun UV ray safety.
- Water Resistant vs. Waterproof: Unfortunately, no sunscreen is completely waterproof or sweatproof. Because of this, most of them are labeled “water resistant.” Instead, this means they can repel water to some extent. However, coverage will be affected if you’re frequently in and out of the water or sweating a lot. This is particularly true if you dry off frequently throughout the day. One of the most important sunscreen safety tips is to reapply every two hours when in water.
Consequences of Not Wearing Sunscreen
Unfortunately, those who don’t wear sunscreen or fail to reapply are at risk of several consequences. The most common and instantly noticeable is a sunburn. While even mild sunburns are uncomfortable, severe burns can warrant hospitalization. This is often the case when sunburn results in blistering of the skin, extreme pain, fever, or chills.
As if that’s not bad enough, there are other repercussions, including:
- Skin cancer
- Sun spots/discoloration
- Wrinkles/premature aging
- Leathery skin texture
Contact Envision for Preventative Care
Contact Envision Medical Group by visiting our website or calling us directly at (248) 741-6909 to learn more about summer sun safety tips and your preventative care wellness visits.Contact Envision Medical Group by visiting our website or calling us directly at (248) 741-6909 to learn more about summer sun safety tips and your preventative care wellness visits.