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Health Topics

Sun Safety Tips & Tricks

By Andrea Rutherford, PA-C

With warm weather quickly approaching, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Follow the sun safety tips below for safe fun in the summer sun.

Check Your Sunscreen
  • If it’s a bottle, the expiration date is likely printed on the bottom. 
  • If it’s a tube, the date is likely stamped on the crimping. 
  • If it’s expired, it should be thrown away as the protective components of sunscreen may be ineffective.
  • You also may look at visible signs that the sunscreen may no longer be effective, such as consistency or color changes.

The FDA regulates that all sunscreens retain their original strength for three years.  If no expiration exists, it’s best to dispose of it. 

Replace Your Sunscreen
  • When purchasing new sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends the sunscreen have UVA/UVB protection and be “water-resistant”.
  • The recommendation is for SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or greater, and to re-apply every 90 minutes to all sun exposed skin.  
    • For a typical adult, this would equate to a “shot-glass” amount to exposed skin every hour and a half. 
Protect Your Lips
  • Choose a lip balm with SPF 30 and re-apply at least as frequently as body sunscreen. The sun is at it’s strongest between the hours of 10am to 2pm, so it’s best to limit sun exposure at that time. The AAD recommends that “if your shadow is shorter than you, it’s time to seek shade!”
Consider Sun Protective Clothing
  • If you’re someone who knows they have a difficult time remembering to re-apply sunscreen when enjoying the outdoors, SPF clothing may be a good option for you. 
  • Many companies now offer tees, hats, swimsuits and shorts with SPF coverage within the fibers of the clothing. This can be a great solution for covering wiggly kids and adult sun enthusiasts alike.  

Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re protected!

 

Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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