How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun

Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Protect Your Skin From the Sun

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun. To minimize skin damage from the sun, follow these guidelines, based on the recommendations of the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Things You'll Need

  • Sporty Hats
  • Sun Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • SPF 15 Sunscreen

Long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin. To protect it, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are at their strongest. And remember that clouds don't block UV rays.

Seek shade when you're outdoors.

Wear a hat, preferably with a 4-inch brim all around, to effectively cover your face, neck and ears.

Wear long sleeves and long pants, making sure they're made of tightly woven fabrics.

Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 every day to help protect against incidental sun exposure; reapply it after swimming or sweating.

Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has a lower SPF than the American Cancer Society recommends, so you'll still need to apply sunscreen to areas the T-shirt covers.

Be aware that ultraviolet rays generally reflect off water, sand, snow and any light-colored surface, such as concrete; be diligent in applying sunscreen when you're around these surfaces.

Remember that some ultraviolet radiation will penetrate water and windows, so you always need protection.

Avoid indoor sunlamps and tanning beds, since they can be more harmful to your skin than the sun.

Tips & Warnings

  • Examine your body regularly to become familiar with the size, shape and color of your moles, blemishes and birthmarks. This can help you be alert to changes that might indicate melanoma growths. Ask your doctor if you should have regular examinations by a dermatologist, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun or have fair skin or a family history of skin cancer. The doctor can make a body map of your moles, blemishes and birthmarks, thereby tracking any unusual growth or changes.
  • Some clothing manufacturers offer SPF ratings for clothing.
  • Sunscreen is not recommended for children under 6 months old. Instead, cover them and keep them in the shade.
  • Frequent sunburning or life-long sun exposure can increase your risk of getting skin cancer and speed up your skin's aging process. Protect your skin diligently.

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