The Do's and Don'ts of Sun Protection

Jul 28, 2016

sun protection

 

UVA and UVB Rays

UVB rays were the first to be identified as having negative effects on skin. Sunburns which can lead to skin cancers are the primary concern of UVB exposure. The effects of UVA rays were later discovered to cause the damage that is responsible for fine lines and wrinkles. Unfortunately, long term UVA exposure can also lead to skin cancer.

The sunscreens of yesterday protected primarily from UVB rays, as they were viewed as most damaging. Luckily, as research was updated, broad-spectrum sunscreens became the norm.

Do set up a plan to protect your skin.
Don't ignore how serious sun damage can become.

Sunscreen is as Effective as You Make It

Sunscreen is not a once and done deal. Regardless of whether you choose SPF 30 or SPF 75, you should reapply a minimum of every two hours. Even waterproof sunscreens only give between 40 and 80 minutes of protection while swimming or sweating excessively. Read the bottle carefully so you know how often to reapply.

Broad-spectrum describes sunscreens that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday will help prevent further damage. Sunscreen sprays are to be used with caution because of inhalation hazards. It is now recommended that you spray in your hand and then rub onto your face and exposed areas. Check expiration dates on your sunscreen so you receive optimum protection.

Do wear sunscreen whenever you will be outside.
Don't trust higher SPF sunscreens to protect all day.

Plan for Your Time Outdoors

There are times during the day that are best avoided. Sun exposure is most intense from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so try to plan outside time before 10:00 or after 4:00. Clothing is your partner in protection. Hats with broad brims can help protect the face, ears, and neck from rays. Sunlight is reflected back up to you by many surfaces, so continue to wear sunscreen also. Don't forget to protect your eyes with sunglasses that offer UVA & UVB protection. If you will be out for long periods of time, choose clothes with tightly woven fabric. Long sleeves and pants are best. You may also want to check out clothing made specifically to protect the skin from sun damage.

Do plan ahead to avoid highest UVB exposure rates.
Don't forget that hats, shades, and clothing are solid choices in your quest for protection from the sun.

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