What Can I Do to Protect My Skin From the Sun?

Did you know? Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer among Americans. In fact, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by age 70.

So, what can you do to protect your skin when you go outside to enjoy the warmer weather and abundant sunshine that summer often brings? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham would like to share some tips.

What Does the Sun Do to Skin?

The sun emits ultraviolet rays—both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. The two types work slightly differently, but both can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

It’s important to note that while UVB rays are more intense on warmer, sunny days, UVA rays make it to earth even on cloudy days. That’s why it is so important to take action year-round to protect your skin.

Effects Sun Has on Skin

  • Increases signs of aging, like wrinkles
  • Causes burning
  • Leads to skin spots
  • Causes heat rash in some instances
  • Increases your risk of developing skin cancer

How Can I Protect Myself?

Your best defense against the sun’s harmful rays is the regular application of sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” with an SPF of at least 30.

Apply your sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin at least 30 minutes before going outside, then reapply at least every two hours or more often if you’re sweating or swimming. There are also other steps you can take to protect your skin.

Sun Safety Basics

  • Avoid being outside between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  • Seek shade whenever possible.
  • Apply a lip balm that contains SPF to protect your lips.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your ears, nose, scalp and neck.

Feeling less than your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment at AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham to get the care you need from the comfort of home.