Windows down and music up, there is nothing like cruising around on a sunny day. Unfortunately, there is also nothing like the feeling of the summers first sunburn. As the sun starts to shine through don’t forget to take proper care of your skin. A sunburn is more than just a change in skin color. When viewed under a microscope, visible damage to the cells and blood vessels can be seen. This is true whether the burn turns in to a tan or you peel.
Today, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Constant sun exposure without proper protection greatly increases your chances of developing skin cancer over time.
What benefits does the sun have?
Exposure to sunlight increases the body’s vitamin D production. This is important because vitamin D is not found naturally in most foods. However, as food production methods have changed, vitamin D found in the foods you eat has increased. Many foods are now fortified with enough vitamin D to help you sustain proper levels. That being said, barbecuing with family, playing a sport or hiking in the sun, is still better for you than watching television inside. Don’t forget that you can still protect your skin while enjoying your time in the sun.
How to limit the harmful effects of sunlight
Of course, staying out of the sun is the best way to stay protected, but who doesn’t want to enjoy the sun when it makes an appearance? Try to take the following steps when exposed to sunlight to keep your skin healthy and looking its best:
- Don’t leave the house without wearing sunscreen. Apply it every day and make sure it’s a habit, just like brushing your teeth!
- Between the hours of 10am and 3pm be extra cautious; avoid the sun when you can, and apply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming, getting wet or sweating. (Ultraviolet rays are strongest between 10am and 3pm).
- Long sleeves and slacks help protect from the sun, especially when in the sun for long periods of time.
- Don’t forget your shades! Wear sunglasses that can filter UV light.
Three little letters; SPF
Everyone has seen them, but what does it really mean? SPF stands for sun protection factor. The greater the SPF number, the greater protection one will get from UVB rays (the burning rays). Choose an SPF that is 30 or higher no matter your complexion. If you have had skin cancer or precancer, it is recommended to increase the SPF to 45 or higher.
Sunscreen is important for everyone, regardless of age, sex, complexion or profession. Protection from the sun and the damage harmful rays can do to your skin makes applying sunscreen very important; whether or not you burn. Remember to check the label in order to determine the proper amount to apply.
See the full article here
Feature photo by echoroo