Everyone loves the warmth of the sun on their skin, but how much sun is too much sun? What can you do to prevent and treat sunburn and still enjoy the sunny days? Here is some information that may be helpful.
Let us start with something that we all need: Vitamin D. It helps our bones, and without it, we are at risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps boost the immune system. When you are exposed to sunlight, it manufactures vitamin D; however, letting the sun beat down on you is not the only way to satisfy your vitamin D quotient! Fatty fish, egg yolks, beef liver, and cheese are all excellent sources of vitamin D. Tanning beds are NOT safer than the sun, and tanning beds do not help your body make vitamin D.
Understanding UVB and UVA
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to how well a sunscreen can protect against UVB rays, which cause burning and skin cancer. It could be helpful to think of UVB for “burning.” Another type of radiation, called UVA, is responsible for age spots and wrinkles, and some types of skin cancers.
Choose sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” to ensure that it protects from UVA and UVB. Currently, there is no standard in the United States for listing UVA blocking power. UVB rays are most active between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Make every effort to limit your time in the direct sunlight during these hours. Water, sand, concrete, snow, and ice are all surfaces that can reflect UV rays and cause more severe sunburn both in the summer and winter. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, which means that you can still get a severe sunburn on an overcast day.
Facts about Skin Cancer
- More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the U.S. each year than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated to be about $8.1 billion.
- Regular and daily use of SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer, by about 40 percent. Skin Cancer Facts
Every time you use sunscreen, use a shot glass’ worth (about one ounce) to cover your whole body. Apply your first coat 15 minutes before you venture outside, reapplying every two hours for as long as you are outdoors. Sunscreens are designed to remain at optimal strength for up to three years. So, you CAN use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next. It is better to be safe than sorry! If you have a dark skin tone, you have likely got a natural skin protectant of about SPF 13. You need about SPF 30 for reliable protection. No matter your skin color, you are still at risk of cancer, wrinkles, dark spots, and burning from excessive sun exposure. How does sunscreen work?
Fun in the Sun
- Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside so that it has time to soak into your skin. Also, use a separate type of sunscreen for your face – if you can find a gel-based sunscreen, that is your best bet!
- When you are spending a lot of time outdoors, be sure to cover up with lightweight, light-colored clothes. Make it a point to wear a hat with a brim to cover your eyes and scalp, and do not leave your house without sunglasses on a bright day.
- If you are buying Chapstick or skin makeup, choose products that include at least SPF 15. Just take note that the trace amounts of SPF in foundations or moisturizer likely will not be enough on its own, you’ll still have to layer on regular sunscreen.
- it is important to stay hydrated when you are spending time in the sun. Carry water with you when you are spending time in the sun and aim to drink more than you would on a typical day spent indoors to avoid heatstroke.
- Once you come inside from a sunny day, immediately apply a moisturizer, oil, or aloe-based gel to your skin, this will help keep it hydrated and make it less likely to peel Guide to Sun Safety
Steps to heal your skin
- Take frequent cool baths or showers and immediately apply a moisturizer to help trap water in your skin when you step out
- Grab aloe gel and keep it in the fridge to keep it cool. Apply as necessary
- If your skin blisters, DON’T pop them. Blistering skin means you have a second-degree sunburn
- Take extra care to protect sunburned skin from the sun and elements as it heals. Wear loose, tightly woven fabrics that will help protect your skin from sun and wind. How to Treat Sunburn
Enjoy the warm weather but take care of your skin. Any questions, please feel free to contact our office. Katas Health recommends BEAUTYCOUNTER, safe and effective skincare for women and families.