Ain’t No Sunshine

Guidelines for keeping your skin safe in the sun this summer.

Don’t forget your skin protection this summer.

With summer just around the corner, the days are getting longer and there’s more time to be outdoors. If you find yourself spending a lot of time outside, it’s important to take some steps to protect yourself. While the sun has some benefits—its vitamin D helps absorb calcium and builds bones and teeth—too much exposure can cause sunburn, eye damage, skin aging, and skin cancer. 

To stay safe in the sun, you don’t have to hide completely, but it’s best to avoid the time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Check the UV index, an important resource for planning your time outside. Always apply sunscreen, because UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Put it on 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply at least every two hours.

Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, broad-brim hats, and sunglasses. If you work outside, take breaks often and seek shade to limit your direct exposure. Finally, examine your skin on a regular basis. Skin cancer is easier to treat when caught early, so get to know your skin and watch for changes.

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