The beautiful days are back! Summertime is usually accompanied by delicious ice cream, succulent watermelons, and early morning swims. However, if you are not careful, summer can also cause sunburn, skin damage and even skin cancer. To ensure that your summer is a pleasant one, free from skin damage, here are the best tips for protecting your skin during the summer season:
- Be sure to stay in the shade. If you are at the beach, take shelter under an umbrella. If you’re walking around town, get into the habit of walking in the shade, your skin will thank you later!
- Avoid exposure to the sun when the sun’s rays are perpendicular to the earth, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In this regard, the shade rule is a trick to determine when it is absolutely necessary to protect yourself from the sun. So if your shadow appears to be shorter than you really are, it’s because the intensity of the sun’s rays is greater! This is when you should avoid exposure to the sun.
- Ideally, dark colored fabrics such as black and navy blue should be worn. Indeed, dark colors absorb UV rays.
- Baseball caps are probably the most worn in the summer, but they are not the most effective. For better skin protection, wear a hat or head covering that covers the entire circumference of your head.
- Apply sunscreen! Choose one with an SPF of 50. Reapply every two hours, and after contact with water.
- Don’t forget to wear sunglasses! Choose a high-quality pair that covers the entire eye area.
The above tips are sufficient to protect the general public. However, some people need to be more cautious, including the elderly and children, as well as people with certain skin conditions that make the skin unable to protect itself from the sun’s rays (e.g. xeroderma pigmentosum). In addition, people with fair skin also have lower levels of melatonin in their skin. Since melatonin is the molecule that protects us from sun damage, these people should be more careful.
Blue eyes are the most vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Therefore, these people must wear sunglasses.
If you have scars, be sure to cover them to avoid hyperpigmentation. And if you have a lot of nevi (moles) on your skin, it’s important to cover up!
Some medications make the skin more vulnerable to sunburn and hyperpigmentation. So, if you are taking medication, ask your doctor if you need to be extra careful when you go out in the sun.
Last but not least, don’t forget to moisturize, which not only keeps your skin healthy and supple, but also prevents heat intolerance symptoms. Also, eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to help prevent and mitigate sun damage to the skin.
Skin cancer prevention:
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers. In this regard, prevention is the key word, but so is early diagnosis. Therefore, make sure to have regular skin examinations. Also, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist or your general practitioner if you notice the appearance of new skin lesions, or if one of your old moles seems to be growing, changing color, starting to bleed, or if its appearance changes.
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