As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, here in North Florida we know summer is just around the corner, with its promise of endless outdoor adventures and delightful moments. However, it's essential to ensure that you're well-prepared so you can safely enjoy the season’s activities. From protecting your skin with sunscreen to wearing sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes, taking a few proactive steps can make all the difference in keeping you healthy, safe, and ready to embrace the sunny days ahead.
When outdoors for an extended time, reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer by staying in the shade. Take an umbrella to the beach with you or relax under a tree to limit your time in sun.
While the sun’s warm rays are no doubt inviting, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause serious damage to your skin – which most people don’t realize is the body’s largest organ. Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer in which abnormal skin cells grow out of control, and the American Cancer Society is expecting more than 9,600 new cases of melanoma in Florida this year.
Even though melanoma is not common, it’s serious because it can spread quickly to other parts of the body. However, you can reduce your risk of getting melanoma by protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. Here are some tips to protect your body this summer:
Wear sunscreen on exposed skin. Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Use it every day, even when it’s cloudy.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying two tablespoons of sun screen 15 minutes before going out doors and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating. Remember to apply to the tops of your feet, neck, ears and top of your head.
Use a broad-spectrum lip balm or cream with SPF of 30 to protect your lips from getting sunburned.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your skin from damaging UV radiation. Wet clothing offers the least protection, while dark colors offer more protection. Some clothing is certified under international standards as offering UV protection.
Just as your skin needs protection, your eyes also require shielding from the sun's harmful rays. Wearing sunglasses can help safeguard your eyes and enhance your overall visual experience during summer. Sunglasses can also prevent UV exposure from damaging your retina and causing lasting vision loss.
Wear a full-brim hat to fully protect your face and head. If you wear a baseball hat, be sure to protect your ears and the back of your neck. Straw hats do not provide as much protection as tightly woven fabrics such as canvas. Skin cancers are often found hidden in the scalp, so it is important to protect your scalp as well.
Whether you’re planning to go to the beach, visit a water park, or just enjoy some relaxing time at a park or in the yard this summer, it's crucial to prepare yourself for the sun-drenched days ahead. By incorporating sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat into your daily routine, you can bask in the summer sun with confidence, knowing that you're taking the necessary steps to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Sourced By: Healthwise
Reviewed By: Capital Health Plan Physicians Group