In between those years when you unwisely lay out in the sun unprotected, and the age where you start wearing SPF 30 under your clothing, you might think you can safely spend the day sunbathing at the beach as long as you apply sunscreen. Not really.
“No safe or healthy way to tan.”
That’s the official word from medical experts and health institutions alike. In fact, guidelines say we should always wear sunscreen outdoors, and a lot of it – like six to eight teaspoons to cover the body. And it must be reapplied as frequently throughout the day.
Know your sun risk factors
If you wear a high SPF factor (30+) of sunscreen, it doesn’t actually mean you can spend a longer period of time in the sun without the risk of burning. In addition, a tan doesn’t protect you against future skin damage or provide any meaningful protection against sunburn.
Don’t trust your delicate skin to cloudy weather
Your skin can always burn during the “hottest” part of the day (11 am to 3 pm, March through October), even if it’s cloudy outside. You can also get sunburned at other times of the day — winter, spring, summer and fall.
Sunscreen is an effective way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but…
In addition to wearing sunscreen, your skin is best served by covering it with clothing and staying in the shade. If you go swimming, or sweat, you should reapply sunscreen immediately, even if the product claims to be water-resistant.
Skin cancer rates continue to rise
We don’t want any of our patients (or anyone!) to be part of this statistic. So we recommend you get your Vitamin D orally, or by exposing your arms or legs to no more than 10-15 minutes a day of unprotected sun. If you’re fair-skinned, have lots of moles or freckles, or, especially, if you have a family history of skin cancer, you should always take extra precautions when out in the sun.
See your doctor
Schedule your annual skin and mole check by calling: (210) 692-3000 or (210) 370-9995.