Take These Steps to be Sun-Safe
It is easy to neglect our skin in the summer. The warmer, more humid weather means our skin isn’t as dry and itchy as it is in the winter; but don’t use this as an excuse to slack on your skincare. UVA/UVB rays are harmful all year long and cause damage in as little as 15 Minutes. Prolonged exposure and damage can lead to sunburns, wrinkles and age spots, and various forms of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and it is estimated 1 in every 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Occupations with high risk of developing skin cancer are farm or construction workers, gardeners, and some public service workers. However, anyone can get skin damage by being in the sun for too long; so have fun in the sun, but use these tips so you don’t burn when you’re done:
- Stop The Burn
Qualities of a good sunscreen are that it has at least an SPF of 30, has broad-spectrum protection for those UVA/UB rays, and is water resistant. Apply 15- 30 minutes before you go out in the sun for a better defense against sunburns.
- When In Doubt, Reapply
For optimal protection, reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you are swimming or sweating you may need to apply more frequently.
- Block Those Rays, Wear Shades
Wear sunglasses with total UV protection to protect the skin around your eyes. Wearing sunglasses also help avoid any damage to the eye itself as prolonged UV exposure can cause eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Protect Your Noggin
Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is the best way to protect your scalp, ears, face, and neck from direct sun exposure. If you chose to sport a baseball cap, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on unprotected skin areas like your neck and ears.
- Kiss Cancer Goodbye
Lips are a common site for skin and lip cancer because of the extended exposure. To avoid cracking and peeling lips, look for lip products that have SPF 15 or higher and apply continuously throughout the day.
- If the Sun is Hot, In the Shade is Your Spot
The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am to 2 pm, so avoid long periods in the sun during these hours. Pro tip is to practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest and you should find some shade.
- Deflect What The Sun Reflects
Umbrellas or shady areas are great, but they do not shield you from everything. Surfaces such as sand, water, and concrete reflect UV rays and can increase your chance of getting sunburn.
- Medication Side Effects
Some medications may make your skin more susceptive to the sun’s damaging effects. Ask your doctor if you are taking any medications about possible side effects regarding sun exposure.
Whether you are working outside or having fun in the sun can also be made safe this summer by following some easy tips. Remembering to adhere to simple protective guidelines before going outside will allow you to relax and worry less. Prevention is the key to sun safety and allows you to spend more time enjoying your summer days.
At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. From our outstanding services to our convenient electronic systems, we provide the best care for employees who need our help. We pride ourselves in helping others. We have over 48 facilities across Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana and we are constantly striving to provide the best care for America’s workforce. Feel free to contact Nova Medical Centers with any questions or comments that you may have.
Written by Andrea Araujo