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Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

September 4, 2012

Most of us are very well aware that the sun, while in some ways good for our skin (Vitamin D), can also do serious damage if precautions aren’t taken to protect the outermost layer of our body from the unrelenting rays of heat and light. Proper skin care can protect our skin from being damaged.

Some people can’t help but be out in the sun for hours. Mailmen, construction workers, landscapers, etc. all have jobs that require them to be outdoors for the majority of the day, sometimes including during peak hours when the sun is most potentially dangerous. This constant exposure not only causes wrinkles, age spots, leathery-looking skin and more, but it also seriously increases your risk of developing skin cancer such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Chronic sunbathers are also at risk, but there are ways to keep yourself protected while you’re enjoying the sun’s rays.

First and foremost – use high-quality sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you’re going to be sweaty or engaging in some water activity, make sure you use waterproof so it doesn’t wash off or require frequent reapplications. However, some skin care specialists recommend reapplying sunscreen at least every two hours anyway just to be sure.

Try to cover as much of your body as possible to avoid harmful rays. Wear hats that keep your face in the shade, as well as long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Hopefully the weather will permit this type of clothing. If not, seek shade as much as possible, especially between the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Even if you take all precautions, if you are consistently exposed to the sun, you should make an appointment with a skin care specialist to ensure your skin hasn’t been permanently damaged and you’re not at risk for skin cancer.


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