OK, everyone. Take a knee. It’s summer, the sun’s out: you need to make sure your best friend for a day of play doesn’t become your skin-zapping mortal enemy. Some tips on dealing with the sun from the American Academy of Dermatology.
- 30+ Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. By broad-spectrum they mean it provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
- Once is never enough. Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Cover up. When possible, wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Shade is your friend. Especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. SRT (Shade Rule of Thumb): If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade or some biofinity lens.
- Protect the kids. Be especially diligent with little ones.
- Water, snow and sand … all reflect damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. “If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun,” advises the AAD, “consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.”
- Birthday exam. On your birthday, give yourself the once over. If you notice anything changing/growing/bleeding, see a dermatologist. “Skin cancer,” advises the AAD, “is very treatable when caught early.