The dog days of summer are approaching quickly.
And let’s face it, the majority of us are enjoying the great outdoors, from
going to the beach, spending endless hours in the pool, hiking and/or
walking and barbecuing in the backyard.
Some of us, of course, work outside for a living while some not only
compete athletically outside, but also attend our children’s sporting
Bottom line is, summertime means a lot more time outdoors. And a lot more
time outdoors means a lot more exposure to the sun.
Physicians First Messages is here to remind you that if you’re not properly
protected from that big ball of fire in the sky, you may be jeopardizing
your health short term and, more importantly, long term.
Overexposure could lead to sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin
cancer, including melanoma.
So protecting yourself from the sun is imperative and although some people
think they might be doing a proper job, they very well could be
And that’s why we’d like to offer you some tips on appropriate ways to keep
For starters, it should be noted that the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
(daylight savings) are the most hazardous for UV (ultraviolet radiation, or
invisible rays from the sun) exposure in the continental U.S.
With that said, sunscreen is one of the best options to keep yourself
protected. Using sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or
higher is highly recommended for UVA and UVB protection. Obviously, the
higher, the better and make sure you use liberally.
Remember, sunscreen wears off and usually a lot sooner than people think.
If you’re in the sun for more than two hours, if you swim or you’re
sweating more than usual, you should reapply.
Always check the sunscreen’s expiration date. Sunscreen without an
expiration date is not usable after three years and, if the can/bottle is
stored in higher temperatures, it may expire a lot sooner.
Also, remember, just because the sun slips behind clouds, doesn’t mean UV
rays aren’t present.
In addition, dark-colored clothing and a wide-brim hat may also help in
your quest to protect you from the sun. If you’re only wearing a baseball
cap, remember to protect your ears and the back of your neck.
Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection
against the sun. Did you know that properly protecting the sun from your
eyes reduces the risk of cataracts?
Finally, shade is another great option to help you, whether it’s under an
umbrella, tree or the like. But if you’re planning to protect yourself in
the shade long term, you should still have the proper sunscreen protection.
Physicians First Messages would love to see you enjoy the summer months,
but wants you to remain healthy. Please remember to protect yourself
properly when exposed to the sun, regardless if it’s short or long term.
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