It’s a wonderful time of year to spend time outdoors with friends and family, basking in the beautiful weather and fun activities that come along with it.
However, as you surely know, there’s also a quiet, dangerous side of spending too much time in the sun. While the majority of the sun’s rays are completely safe, some of them are ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause cancer in human skin cells.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with over 5 million cases and over 3 million patients in 2012. In fact, it’s more frequently diagnosed than all other cancers combined.
While this fact shouldn’t dissuade you from enjoying the wonderful summer weather, it is important to take precautions that limit your chances of developing skin cancer or other diseases.
Following are some of the most practical ways to keep safe in the sun, and we hope you take them to heart this summer.
4 of the Easiest Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun
Use Sunscreen Whenever You’re in the Sun
Wearing sunscreen is the most popular way of staying safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Nevertheless, there are some common misconceptions about sunscreen that warrant discussion.
- Any sunscreen will do. Not true! You should purchase a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30. It’s also ideal to use a sunscreen that is water-resistant, particularly if you’ll be spending time in the water or sweating.
- You can apply sunscreen after you go outside. Really, you should apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside. The reason being, it takes your skin about that much time to absorb the sunscreen, and UV rays can start to do damage in those 15 minutes prior to the sunscreen absorbing.
- You only need to apply sunscreen to sensitive areas. While it’s really important to apply sunscreen to your face, back, and neck, you should apply sunscreen to every area of your skin that will be exposed to the sun.
- You only need to apply sunscreen once. Nope. Even if you’re using a water-resistant product, you should still reapply sunscreen every couple of hours if you’ll be in the sun that long.
Always Wear Sunglasses
Prolonged exposure to the sun is not only bad for your skin – it can also cause problems with your eyes, including increasing your chance of developing cataracts.
Choose a pair that blocks at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays, though you should easily be able to find an affordable pair that blocks 100% of these rays.
Wear Protective Clothing
I know, summer is the time to show off your beach bod, and it’s a pleasure to shed your winter garb for a swimsuit. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain hot outside!
However, while slathering your body with sunscreen is effective (if you follow the above tips), there’s nothing as reliable as simply covering up.
From wearing long pants and shirts to ball caps and wide brims, covering and shading yourself from the sun is the most surefire way to keep your skin protected when spending time outdoors in the summer.
So, while there’s nothing wrong with wearing your swimsuit for periods of time, just keep in mind that, if you can, you should cover up.
Limit Your Exposure to the Sun
This is probably the least fun option here, but it is ultimately the safest.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you should try to limit your sun exposure during the times of day when UV rays tend to be at their strongest, which is between 10 am and 4 pm.
So, spending more time in the sun early or later in the day is a great way to enjoy the sun while also limiting your exposure to harmful rays.
Has Someone You Love Been Diagnosed with Skin Cancer?
If so, consider purchasing one of our wonderful gift baskets, which are specifically designed for cancer patients. They include delicious treats and snacks, lotions and moisturizers, and products for keeping patients comfortable and occupied while undergoing treatment.