Tuesday 03 July 2018 - forpatient
The warm weather is here! Summer usually means delicious ice-cream, watermelon and early morning swims. However, if you’re not careful enough, summer can also mean sunburn, skin damage and even skin cancer. In order to keep your summer fun and skin damage-free, here are the best tips to protect your skin in the summer time:
- Make sure to stay in the shade. If you are at the beach, stay under a beach umbrella. If you’re taking a stroll around the city make it a habit to walk under the shade, your skin will thank you later!
- Avoid being in the sun when the sun rays are perpendicular to the earth, generally between the hours 10am and 4pm. A good tip to know is the shadow rule. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you really are, it’s not the right time to be in the sun.
- Wear dark fabric clothes, black and navy are the best. The dark color absorbs the UV rays.
- Baseball-style caps are probably the most worn in the summer, but they are not the most effective. For greater skin protection: wear a hat that covers the whole circumference of your head.
- Wear sunscreen! Choose one with an SPF of 50. Reapply it every two hours and after contact with water.
- Don’t forget to wear sunglasses! Choose high quality ones that cover the whole eye area.
The tips mentioned above are enough to keep the general population safe; however some people need extra caution:
The elderly and children should be even more cautious, as well as people with certain skin conditions that render the skin incapable of protecting itself against sun rays (ex: Xeroderma Pigmentosum). Fair skinned people also have less melatonin in their skin, which is the molecule that protects us against the sun. Therefore people with light skin should be more cautious.
Blue eyes are the most vulnerable to sun rays, which makes wearing sunglasses necessary.
If you have scars, make sure to cover them in order to avoid hyper-pigmentation. And if you’re a person with a lot of naevi (moles), make sure to cover yourself as well!
Some medications make the skin more vulnerable to sunburn and hyper-pigmentation. If you’re under any medication, make sure to ask your doctor if you need extra caution while out in the sun.
Last but not least, don’t forget to hydrate! Not only will you keep your skin healthy and supple, but you’ll avoid experiencing symptoms of high temperature intolerance. Load up on antioxidant-rich foods as well, to help prevent and reverse skin damage caused by the sun.
Skin cancer prevention:
Skin cancer is one of the most frequent cancers. Prevention is key here, but so is early diagnosis. Make sure to have frequent skin check-ups, and don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist or a general practitioner if you notice any new skin lesions or if one of your old moles seems to get bigger, changes color, starts bleeding or changes in any way.
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