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Summertime Tips to Keep the Sun From Wreaking Havoc on Your Skin

Jul 01, 2023

Summertime Tips to Keep the Sun From Wreaking Havoc on Your Skin
Sunshine can lift your mood and even help your body make vitamin D. If you get too much sun, you can end up with a sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Here’s how to keep your skin safe this summer.

The warm summer sun sure feels good on your skin, especially after an Idaho winter, but don’t be fooled: It can damage your skin, too — probably a lot faster than you think. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the primary cause of most skin cancers, and it’s also responsible for about 90% of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Here in Lewiston, Idaho, we’re a leading multi-specialty practice at Catalyst Medical Group, offering internal medicinefamily practice and comprehensive dermatology treatment, including care for sunburned skin and skin cancer screenings. In this post, our providers offer some simple tips for the entire family that can help you protect your skin from sun damage while still enjoying plenty of summer fun.

Slather on some sunscreen

OK, this one might seem obvious, but in a recent survey, only about 13% of men and 29% of women reported wearing sunscreen regularly. Sunscreen is designed specifically to block the sun’s harmful UV rays, preventing sunburns and dramatically reducing your risk of sun cancer. 

Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day, even if it’s cloudy, and use plenty of it — roughly one ounce (about the size of a shot glass) to cover your body, reapplying at least every two hours.

Wear protective clothing

Add another layer of protection with lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your legs and arms. Add a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck, and ears, and don’t forget sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Stay indoors at midday

The sun’s UV rays tend to be at their peak during the midday hours. Try to stay indoors during that time, and if you must be outside, stick to the shade.

Skip the tan

You might think tanned skin looks healthy, but a suntan is actually a sign that your skin is damaged. That’s true whether you get a tan from the sun or a tanning bed. If you must tan, consider the spray-on type.

Watch out for reflected light

Direct sun can harm your skin, but reflected sun can do damage, too. In the summer, take extra precautions around sand and bodies of water since both can reflect the sun’s UV rays.

Don’t skip the lip

Your lips can get sunburned just like the rest of your face. To keep them safe, wear a lip balm or lipstick that offers sun protection, and apply it every time you go outdoors.

Drink plenty of water

Finally, to keep your skin healthy and maintain its protective moisture barrier, you need to moisturize it from the inside out. That means hydrate by drinking water throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you, and limit drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine, since both can draw moisture from your body.

Make skin cancer checks part of your routine

One more tip: Schedule annual skin cancer checks to look for signs of skin cancer. Annual skin evaluations help us spot cancer in its early stages when it’s most responsive to treatment. To schedule your skin exam, call the practice to book an appointment with our team at Catalyst Medical Group today.