Sun Safety Tips for Your Skin

It’s no secret that prolonged sun exposure can damage your skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear, not to mention increases your chances for skin cancer. And if you’ve had cosmetic surgery or a non-surgical treatment, your treated skin is even more sensitive and more prone to ultraviolet radiation absorption. Scars from incisions are more prone to sunburn, and there’s a chance the scar will become more noticeable with sun exposure. Read on for eight tips to protect your skin in the sun.

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply generously and often, reapplying every 60-80 minutes if you’re swimming or sweating. And use a lip balm that has an SPF of 30 or higher.

Stay in the shade. Limit your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as that is the window of time when the sun’s harmful rays are the strongest. An easy way to check the time is the shadow test: If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are strongest and you need protection.

Wear sunglasses. Broad-spectrum sunglasses that block 99-100% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are preferred. Wear them even on cloudy days, too, as harmful rays from the sun can penetrate through clouds.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat. A hat that covers your face, neck and ears offers another layer of protection from the sun.

Wear protective clothing. Certain clothes are made with sun-protective materials, but even wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants will help protect your skin.

Stay out of the tanning bed. Tanning in the sun or in a tanning bed leads to premature skin aging and is linked with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Beware reflective surfaces such as water and sand. These surfaces reflect the sun’s dangerous rays.

Check your medications. Some medications make you more sensitive to the sun, including specific types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, blood pressure medications and antifungal medicine.

To learn more about ways to treat sun-damaged skin, call (203) 453-6635.

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