As the temperatures heat up and people begin to spend more time outdoors, the question of sun safety arises. While the sun makes outdoor activities more enjoyable, it also raises the risk for serious damage and some types of diseases. To ensure your summer season as healthy as it is fun, we have a few recommendations for keeping safe in the sun.

Understanding SPF

The sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen tells you the level of protection against UVB rays from the sun. Sunscreens offering “broad spectrum” protection offer protection against both UVB and UVA rays. An SPF of 30 protects the skin from approximately 97 percent of those rays when used properly, and is the minimum protection recommended for the best possible sun protection. Keep in mind SPF higher than 30 may not offer a much more sun protection, but may cost much more than an SPF 30 product.

Protecting the Eyes

Your skin is not the only part of you that needs sun protection. UVB and UVA rays can also damage the eyes, as well as the delicate skin surrounding them. Sunglasses that offer UV protection are an important addition to your outdoor wardrobe. Specifically, look for sunglasses with labels that say, “Meets ANSI requirements” or “UV absorption up to 400 nm,” to ensure sufficient protection.

Clothing Protection

Protective clothing is recommended during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are strongest. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants and a hat with a wide brim might be included in your attire. In addition, there is now clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 30 or more. These garments have been specially crafted to shield vulnerable skin from the sun, with ratings similar to those found on sunscreen.

Regular Screenings

Regular skin screenings are another good way to protect your skin from sun damage and the risk of skin cancer. Early detection is an important element to effective treatment and a positive prognosis after a skin cancer diagnosis. In addition, regular screenings can alert your physician to unusual moles or growths that can be removed before they become malignant. Those most susceptible to skin cancer risk, such as individuals with fair skin or a history of significant sunburns, should be first in line for those annual screenings.

Summer is a favorite time to get outdoors and enjoy a wide range of activities. By exercise proper sun protection, you can rest assured your summer months will be filled with outdoor fun without increasing your risk of sun damage and skin cancer. To learn more about sun protection or to schedule your skin screening, contact Incredible Veins Skin & Body at 818-423-5828.

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