The sun is getting hotter, not only every day but also seemingly every year. This gives us more of a reason to throw on our bathing suits, tank tops, shorts, and other loose-fitting clothes that allow for our bodies to breathe. It only takes minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet rays to infiltrate your bare skin and cause serious damage that may be dangerous to your health in the long run. The steps taken to maintain healthier skin are becoming more and more significant with each sweaty day, so it’s important to practice sun safety when it comes to your skin.

Skin and Sun Safety Precautions

There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanned skin will forever contain cells whose genetic structures have been permanently damaged by the sun.1 Certain precautions should be taken to avoid the harmful rays of the sun to not only protect yourself from sunburn, but also from the risks of skin cancer.

Keep in the Shade

Take shelter under any kind of shaded area, whether it be an umbrella or a tree when you know you will be in direct sunlight for a long period of time. This is the best and most effective way of protecting your skin from the rays striking down on a hot summer day. Our Delray dermatologist also suggests following “the shadow rule.” The shadow rule indirectly determines the sun’s altitude by observing the length of a person’s shadow throughout the course of a day. When a person’s shadow is shorter than the person is tall, the intensity of UVR from the sun is more likely to cause sunburn.2

Wear Sunglasses, Hats, and Protective Clothing

Especially because our South Florida dermatology center is in the heart of the heat, we suggest wearing clothing that consists of a light linen material. Other options include nylon, polyester, or cotton. Make sure you grab your hat and sunglasses on the way out to better protect not only the skin on your face but also your eyes. Sun exposure in your eyes can cause cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. As you get older, your vision tends to get worse. Acting before cataracts develop can help keep your eyes safer and intact for longer.

Apply Sunscreen

The most obvious method for practicing skin and sun safety would be by using sunscreen, especially if you know you’re going to be in the sun for a long period of time. Sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. Sunscreen interacts with the skin to protect it from the harmful UV rays. Remember: sunscreen isn’t just a one-time thing, it does wear off. Reapplication is a must. Give yourself a time limit of one hour, at most, to check your skin before taking out the bottle and applying more for the best results in order to maintain healthier skin.  

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  1. American Skin Association – Sun Safety
  2. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – The shadow rule: a simple method for sun protection.