Summer is finally here, and we know what that means: more time outdoors. Regardless of the season, the Texas Sun can be relentless. So being extra careful when enjoying the outdoors is essential to prevent any severe skin damage. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that most skin cancers are the result of continuous exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays — natural or artificial (Yes, we are talking about tanning beds!). According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimate of 207,390 new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021. But how can you enjoy the summer Sun while being safe? July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and we have created a list of six tips to help you enjoy the Sun and be safe. Ready? Here they are:
Always use sunscreen: No matter the forecast, sunscreen is the one step you should never skip before heading outdoors for the day. The American Academy of Dermatology Association's recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Protect your pucker: Don't forget to protect your lips with SPF when enjoying the outdoors. Dermatologists recommend using a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect them from harmful UV rays.
Be aware of direct sunlight: UV rays' exposure is at their peak from 10 am to 4 pm. Minimizing your Sun exposure during those times can help you prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. Be extra careful around sand and water because their surfaces can reflect the Sun's rays and increase your chances of getting sunburned.
Wear a hat or other Sun protective gear: Whether you are working outside or simply enjoying the outdoors, using a hat and other Sun protecting equipment is essential to minimize exposure to the UV rays. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends including sunglasses with 100% UV protection as one of your must-have summer items to prevent damage to the eyes.
Double-check your medications and skincare products: Always check your medications and skincare products for Sun sensitivity. Some medications' side effect can be photosensitivity, and they can cause permanent skin damage, rashes, or other reactions when you get exposed to the UV rays.
Stay hydrated: Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Doctors recommend drinking:
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for men.
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for women.
If you want to learn more about being safe in the Sun, check out the American Cancer Society website. We hope you keep these tips in mind when heading outdoors this summer.