We are deep in the heart of summer with August right next door (literally) on the calendar. Many people might be thinking, “I have my base tan, I don’t need sunscreen” or “I’m just going to let my skin burn and it will turn to tan”. Unfortunately, you can get a lot more than that bronze tan you’re longing for if you’re not protecting your skin properly.
The most immediate result of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is a sunburn in which the skin turns red in color, feels hot to the touch and may swell and blister. Not only is a sunburn very painful, but it requires quite a bit of TLC and that farmer’s tan or the lines from your bathing suit that don’t match up with the sundress you’re wearing will definitely attract squakers asking “Wow! Did you get sunburnt?!” which gets annoying pretty quick. UVR rays can also cause long-term damage to the skin which requires quite a bit more to relive them some TLC. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sun causes 90% of all non melanoma skin cancers and 65% of all melanomas. Photoaging (that wrinkly, leather look) is also a long-term result of sun exposure (and not very cute).
Here are a few tips to keep yourself safe while you have fun in the sun:
- Apply sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher whenever you’re outdoors, preferably products that provide broad spectrum protection (UVA & UVB rays)
- Children should use sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher
- Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often especially while swimming, perspiring and towling off
- Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
- For people with thin or thinning hair, apply sunscreen to the scalp
- Stay in the shade when possible, especially during midday hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest
Now get outside and enjoy the Iowa summer and always remember to protect your skin with these helpful tips!