Staying Safe in the Sun this Summer

Summer is finally here, which means the weather is perfect for spending time outdoors to enjoy the warmth. While sun exposure has benefits – like vitamin D production – it’s essential to be safe when exposed to sunlight during this season. Here are some tips to help keep your skin safe and healthy this summer.

Limit Your Time in the Sun, Especially During Peak Hours

Exposure to the sun’s rays is most potent during the hours when the sun is directly overhead (typically between 10am and 4pm, depending on your region). If you must be outdoors during these times, seek out shade whenever possible and reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Another thing to consider is your exposure to sunlight when you’re out on the water: even if you are wearing sunscreen, spending time in or on the water significantly increases your risk of sunburn because the water acts kind of like a mirror to harmful UV rays. UVA and UVB rays bounce off the surface of the water – doubling your exposure to UV rays from the sun – and water often washes away the beneficial sun protectants that most sunscreens use to keep your skin safe.

Cover Up

In addition to wearing sunscreen, it’s helpful to cover up as much as possible when you’re outdoors to avoid sun damage and sunburn. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs and you should also wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your face, neck, and ears. Some clothing even comes with UV Protection Factor (UPF) that indicates how protective the clothing is from the sun. We recommend clothing with a UPF of 50+ for optimal sun protection.

Protect Your Eyes

Wear sunglasses and a hat when outdoors: These accessories will help protect your eyes and head from sun exposure, which can cause heatstroke, headaches, and permanent vision damage.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is crucial for thriving in the heat. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day, even if you don’t think you’re thirsty. Dehydration can lead to heatstroke and other negative complications during long days outside, so staying hydrated when spending time in the sun is essential.

Check the UV Index before Spending Time Outdoors

The UV index measures the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Checking the UV index before spending time outdoors allows you to take appropriate precautions and wear the appropriate clothing necessary to protect the health of your skin.

Wear Sunscreen Even On Cloudy Days

Just because it’s cloudy doesn’t mean you’re safe from the sun’s harmful radiation. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so it’s essential to wear sunscreen even when it’s overcast outside. Apply sunscreen before you go outside and reapply every 2 hours if you plan on being outside for an extended period.

Protect Your Skin This and Every Summer

By following these tips and taking precautions when spending time outdoors, you can enjoy the warm weather without putting your health at risk. Remember to wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing, stay hydrated, and never leave children or pets alone in a parked car. If you start to experience symptoms of heatstroke, seek medical attention immediately.

At Arlington Dermatology in Arlington, Virginia, we provide comprehensive care for all your dermatologic needs. We offer a variety of services from skin cancer screenings to cosmetic dermatology. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn how to protect your skin from the elements like a pro.

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