Summer is a great time of the year to get outside. Enjoying vacations, sports and outdoor trips to the park or back yard are great ways to soak in some extra vitamin D and lift your mood. However, with summer comes an increased risk for skin damage, cancer and the chance of getting burned while enjoying the heat.
Here are a few simple tips to stay smart this summer and enjoy the outdoors without risking your skin.
1) Schedule an annual skin check with a dermatologist.
An annual skin check is important so that your doctor can watch for new moles or atypical mole development. Be proactive to reduce your risk of skin cancer. An annual skin check is covered at 100%. Also, your dermatologist can advise you on the best practices for your skin pigment. For example, fair skinned individuals can keep their high burn area’s covered by reapply sunscreen every two hours and wearing an SPF swim shirt.
2) Wear sunscreen.
It is important to protect your skin from the UV rays from the sun. Using at least 15 SPF is preferred and it is important to reapply every two hours or if you have towel-dried or sweat. Sunscreen is not “water-proof” so it will wear off quicker in the water. Be aware of how long you are out and keep yourself covered.
3) Drink water.
Heat strokes and exhaustion can cause serious damage to your body. Be proactive and drink plenty of water to replenish fluids during the day. When you work out in the yard, mow the lawn or play sports, try to avoid the hotter hours of the day.
4) Enjoy the shade.
The sun is hottest during the middle part of the day, so find some shade especially if you fair skinned. Shade can help you keep your body cool and regulate your temperature to reduce your risk of skin damage, cancer, heat stroke or exhaustion. Hats and sunglasses are another great way to keep your face, eyes and neck shaded from the sun and susceptible to sun burn.