In most cases, the arrival of summer means having as much fun out in the sun as possible. However, with skin cancer being the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the US, it’s crucial for anyone who will be spending time outdoors to give their skin the protection it needs against harmful UV rays. If you and your family intend spending any length of time outdoors this summer, the tips below will help ensure that your skin remains protected.
Invest in UV-protective Clothing
Although the cost of proper UV-protective clothing may initially seem expensive, keep in mind that no price can be put on your family’s health – especially where skin cancer is concerned. These days, several shirts, pants and hats can be purchased that will provide skin with a protection factor of as high as UV50.
Learn to Love Sunglasses
Many individuals deem sunglasses as nothing more than a fashion accessory, but the lenses on today’s sunglasses have been designed to prevent up to 99.9% of UV rays from being able to reach your eyes and the delicate skin around them. When buying your next pair, ensure that they state that protection is provided against UVA and UVB rays.
Not All Sunscreen Products are the Same
It can be tempting to purchase those large, family-sized sunscreen products from the warehouse store. However, these may not always provide your family’s skin with as much protection as it deserves because they often contain more filler substances than active ingredients. Many higher quality sunscreen products are a little more water and sweat-resistant than their cheaper counterparts, meaning that they may need to be applied less frequently.
When purchasing sunscreen products, ensure that they offer a protection factor of at least UV30 and that they offer broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. On average, it should also be reapplied every two hours or after each time you’ve been in the water.
Limit Time in the Sun
While it may be tempting to lie in the sun for hours on end, this will be the fastest way for your skin to suffer the damage that’s needed for skin cancer to develop. The sun tends to be at its hottest between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, so try to enjoy your outdoor activities outside of these times as far as possible – or find a shady spot instead.
It’s also recommended that babies under the age of six months be kept out of the direct sun as much as possible. Dressing them in light, but cool clothing will go a long way to help protect their delicate skin while they’re outdoors.
Staying well hydrated while spending time out in the sun is also essential to help prevent dehydration of the body and skin, with the best beverage options being plain, cool water or water that has been infused with fresh fruit pieces to add a little natural flavor. Getting children into the habit of protecting their skin from a young age will be especially beneficial at preventing the onset of skin cancer when they become adults.