Summer is just around the corner, which means more time spent outdoors and in the sun. However, with more time in the sun comes a higher risk for sun damage and potential skin cancer. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, so we have put together some information on how to care for your skin. When spending time in the sun, be sure to take the following precautions to help keep your skin healthy and youthful!
- Avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is at its strongest. If you absolutely cannot stay in the shade, be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher or wear a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Avoid tanning beds! This is very important, as the trend of using tanning beds skyrocketed in the 90s and is still very popular among young people today. Tanning beds emit UV rays just like the sun and can contribute to signs of aging and skin cancer.
- Apply the right amount of sunscreen! For most, one ounce of sunscreen is needed for your entire body about 30 minutes before going outdoors. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. There are also waterproof formulas available for those who are more active.
So, you didn’t follow the necessary skin protection tips, and now you are left with a nasty sunburn. What do you do? The first step is to cool down the burnt area. If you are near a cool pool or the ocean, take a quick dip to cool down the skin. Then, cover up and immediately get out of the sun. Use cool compresses to continue to cool down the burn or take a cool shower or bath. Avoid soap which may irritate the skin.
Next, moisturize the skin while its damp. Use a gentle moisturizing lotion but avoid petroleum or oil-based ointments. Taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug can also help, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. Be sure to keep hydrated, as a burn can dehydrate you. Continue caring for your burn with these steps until it heals.
Are you interested in learning more about ways to protect your skin from sun damage? Or perhaps you are looking for treatments to help correct signs of sun damage. Contact Seattle Skin & Laser today to schedule an appointment!