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5 Tips to Protect Your Skin From Sun This Year

Whether it’s going to the pool or beach or simply gardening at home, you’re likely to be exposed to the sun more hours of the day during the summer than any other season. 

Take a couple of minutes before going outside to protect yourself from those strong ultraviolet rays to prevent a painful sunburn now and skin cancer that could pop up years from now. 

Our board-certified dermatologists and their team at Seacoast Dermatology are your partners in helping you protect and take care of your skin. They can spot skin cancer in its earliest stages and excise it before it becomes a more serious condition. 

Here are five easy things to do to protect yourself before you soak up those rays. 

Use sunscreen every day 

Take a few minutes to spray or smooth sunscreen on your exposed skin before heading out of the house, even if it’s cloudy. Most of the sun’s rays — about 80% — make it to Earth even when it’s overcast.  

Get in the habit of applying your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you go outside to give it time to soak into your skin. Don’t forget the places you can’t see like your ears and your back. 

Not all sunscreens are alike. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. If you’re fair and tend to burn, go for SPF 50 or higher. 

If you have dark skin, you still need sunscreen because your skin can burn. Even though you might not see the burn, you’ll definitely feel it. 

Reapply sunscreen after being in the water. If you work outside in the sun and sweat a lot, towel off and reapply. 

Check the expiration date on your sunscreen. Buy new lotion if you’re in doubt because once it’s reached the expiration date, it’s less effective. 

Use shades

UV radiation can lead to eyelid cancer, among other deleterious effects. 

Select sunglasses carefully. Look for sunglasses that block out 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays and have the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. They may be a bit more expensive than sunglasses that offer less protection, but aren’t your eyes worth it? 

Wear sunglasses all year when you’re in the sun, not just during the summer. In addition to protecting against sun damage, they also protect against squinting and the formation of more pronounced crow’s feet around your eyes. 

Wear a hat and protective clothing 

Choose a hat that covers your neck and ears as well as your eyes. Long sleeves and pants provide protection from UV rays as well as bugs when you’re doing yardwork or construction work. 

If you’re at the beach, a regular T-shirt provides very little protection. Look for clothing that’s specifically made to protect you from the sun with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of at least 50. Taking a long walk on the beach with this type of shirt is much safer than wearing a T-shirt. 

Stay in the shade

When at the beach or pool, use an umbrella to protect yourself in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Look for trees or other shade during picnics and while watching outdoor games. 

Limit time in the sun 

The sun’s rays are most powerful between 10am and 4pm, so get your weeding in the garden done early in the morning or in late afternoon. Beach or pool time is usually less crowded later in the afternoon, so that’s an additional advantage. 

Call us or book an appointment online with Seacoast Dermatology for all of your skin care needs. We have offices in Portsmouth, Dover, and Exeter, New Hampshire. We also offer teledermatology appointments.

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