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5 Tanning Do’s and Don'ts to Follow This Coming Summer

It’s May and you’re likely enjoying the warming weather. You may be looking forward to going to the beach for the Memorial Day holiday or enjoying pool time with your family. While time in the sun is fun, remember that the sun is a ball of fire that can burn your skin. 

Our board-certified dermatologists with Seacoast Dermatology treat people with skin cancer regularly. Skin cancer cases have been rising for decades. Invasive melanoma cases have increased more than 30% in the past decade, and melanoma can be fatal. 

Protect yourself against the sun’s ultraviolet rays by following some of our do’s and don’ts before you start tanning this summer. 

Do’s and don’ts before sunbathing

If your skin is irritated, stay out of the sun. Waxing and exfoliating your skin causes inflammation, so do it a week before sun exposure to avoid irritating your skin. 

Put on sunscreen before you go out. Cover all areas of your body that aren’t protected, including your ears, neck, hands, bikini line, and feet. 

Do’s and don’ts for sunglasses and hats 

Always check that the sunglasses you buy have full UVA/UVB protection. Buy glasses with thicker sides that shield the sides of your eyes.  

Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your ears, face, and neck. Look for hats with SPF 50 protection when you’re at the beach. Just say no to baseball caps at the beach or pool. 

Do’s and don’ts for sunscreen 

Reapply sunscreen every hour or every time you go into the water at the beach or pool or when using the garden hose in your backyard. 

Select a sunscreen with a high SPF factor to protect you if you’re going to be in the sun for a significant part of the day, and wear clothing with an SPF factor. 

Do’s and don’ts for time in the sun

You may be a sun lover, but the sun really doesn’t love your skin. The sun is a carcinogen and damages your skin when you overdo it. 

Tanning depends on your skin color, skin type, time of day, angle of the sun, and the climate. You can burn in 10 minutes in the sun if you’re not wearing sunscreen. That’s especially true if you have fair skin or have red hair. 

It’s best to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day when its rays are the strongest. 

If you have darker skin, you have more melanin, which helps protect your skin from burning. But you can still get a sunburn. 

No matter what skin type you have, always wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor when in the sun. 

You may want to stay out for hours at the beach, but it’s not a wise decision unless you cover up. One to two hours in the sun may be more than enough time to get a tan. If you have fair skin, even that is too long. Don’t overdo it, or you’ll end up with a painful burn. 

If you’re a parent, protect your children when in the sun. If your child blisters from a sunburn even once, it doubles the risk of their developing melanoma in adulthood. 

It’s just a “don’t” for tanning beds

Your risk of skin cancer is four times as high once you use a tanning bed. You have a 74% higher risk. Just say no to tanning beds. The World Health Organization has declared tanning beds carcinogenic. 

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology for an appointment at one of our convenient locations to schedule your annual checkup and for all of your dermatology needs. We have offices in Portsmouth, Exeter, and Dover, New Hampshire.

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