There has long been cautions and warnings about how prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sun skin damage. But who wants to stay inside on a nice, warm , sunny, summer day? Not too many!
So what is the answer? Sunscreen and lots of it.
Did you know, though, that most people don’t use sun screen correctly? They go out and they put it all over their bodies one time and think they will be protected all day.
Some sunscreens may be able to protect you for an extended period of time but you should always reapply it every few hours. Some wash off in the water if you add swimming to your summer day and some are affected by sweat.
Always read the label and follow the directions closely to avoid sun skin damage, especially when children are involved.
Let’s talk about the sun’s rays for a minute. There are two main types that affect your skin: UVA and UVB
UVA rays are the ones that can cause age spots and other skin discolorations. You may not even realize that this is skin damage, but it is, and was caused by the sun shining on unprotected skin when you were younger.
UVB rays are the ones that cause you to get a sunburn. If you notice that your skin is red and painful after a day out in the sun, you have damaged your skin. The redness will fade after a few days but you will notice that after a week or two your skin will begin to “peel”. This is usually not a painful process but you will not like the way it looks.
Always use sunscreen! Even on cloudy days the sun’s rays can affect your skin. They pass right through the clouds so do not be fooled into thinking that you are safe.
Too many sunburns and/or prolonged exposure to the sun without being protected can lead to a more serious condition like skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
Sunscreen comes in several different levels and you can find them everywhere this time of year. The lowest protection factor is 4 on up to at least 50 maybe even higher. Sun tan oils are different and do not provide any protection from the suns rays.
Tanning booths or beds are no better than lying in the sun. In fact, they can be even more harmful and can cause eye damage, accelerated premature aging, immune system suppression and they can even cause allergic reactions as well as skin damage.
To avoid sun skin damage, you should stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. These are the hours of the day are when the rays of the sun are most damaging. If you cannot avoid the sun at these times then you should at least try to limit the time that your skin is exposed by finding a nice shady spot to sit in and/or protecting yourself by wearing sunscreen.