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Life and Health

Avoid Sunburn and All Its Painful Side Effects

By July 1, 2014No Comments

Most people have experienced the pain of too much sun. Not only does overexposure to sun cause your skin to age prematurely and wrinkle, but it can also cause sunburn, sun stroke and skin cancer. Avoid sunburn and all its painful side effects when you follow four tips.

1. Use sunscreen.

*Sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, of 15 or higher will protect your skin.
*Look for sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection or a broad spectrum protectant. UVA rays cause skin aging and skin cancer. UVB rays cause sunburn and skin cancer.
*Remember to apply sunscreen to all your exposed skin, including ears, elbows, scalp and the backs of your knees and the tops of your feet.
*Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
*Use waterproof sunscreen if you plan to swim. It provides 80 minutes of protection as you swim while water resistant sunscreen only stays on for 40 minutes. Remember to reapply waterproof varieties after you get out of the pool or ocean and dry off.

2. Stay indoors when the sun shines its brightest. Typically, those hours fall between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you have to be outside, look for shade or wear a cover-up.

3. Cover your skin. A hat, scarf, sunglasses and lightweight, breathable long sleeve shirt and pants protect your skin when you need to work or play outdoors on sunny days. A large umbrella, tree or other shade can also provide the protective cover you need.

4. Don’t sunbathe. Lying in the sun or a tanning bed and purposely trying to get a tan causes damage to your skin. Instead, be safe when you avoid intentional tanning and remain thankful for your skin color.

Even with these four tips, you might find yourself overexposed to sun. Your doctor can offer soothing medication, evaluate your skin health and provide additional information that helps you avoid sunburn and all its painful side effects in the future.