By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
July 13, 2021
We know that you’re excited about summer and all of the outdoor fun. From backyard BBQs to weekend getaways to the beach, summer is many people’s favorite season (and we can see why); however, you must spend some time thinking about the health of your skin, especially if you plan to spend any time outdoors. As any dermatologist will tell you, being out in the sun without sunscreen can lead to serious sunburns and sun damage and can increase your risk for skin cancer.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
You really should be wearing sunscreen every day, regardless of whether it’s summer or not. Even if the day isn’t feeling particularly warm, the sun’s rays can still penetrate and damage the skin. Even on cloudy and rainy days, you’ll still need to apply sunscreen because the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds.
If you want to protect your and your family’s skin all summer long, make sure to apply a generous amount of sunscreen to the face and body 30 minutes before going outside.
Know What Sunscreen to Use
Not all sunscreen is created equal. You must look for a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, which means that it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. You should also use a sunscreen that has, at the very least, an SPF of 30. If you want to opt for a higher SPF that’s always a good idea, but don’t be lured into a false sense of security. Just because the SPF is higher doesn’t mean that you can spend all day lounging in the sun without needing to reapply. This brings us to our next order of business…
Reapply Sunscreen Regularly
Just because you put sunscreen on once doesn’t mean that it lasts all day long. If you are going to be outside for hours at a time you will need to bring your sunscreen with you and reapply every two hours. If you are sweating or swimming you will also need to reapply immediately after.
No matter your risk for skin cancer, it’s important for everyone to get a yearly skin cancer screening. This simple, non-invasive checkup can help us spot suspicious growths and moles early to prevent cancer from getting worse.