School is back in session, but the scorching temperatures are proof that summer will be with us for a few more weeks. As you shift from summer fun to back-to-school activities, don’t forget to stay hydrated and take care of your skin when you’re out and about.
Did you know that the sun’s UV rays can burn unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes, but take up about 12 hours for the damage to show on your skin? Sunburn is a painful skin reaction that shows up red on your skin after too much exposure to UV light. You are more at risk to sunburn if you:
- Have fair skin
- Exposure to the sun during the day
- Don’t wear protective clothing or sunscreen
Sunburn symptoms include skin that is:
- Dry, itching, and peeling
You can treat damaged sunburnt skin by staying hydrated, applying aloe or a hydrocortisone cream to the skin, not popping any blisters, and staying out of the sun. If you are dealing with any symptoms such as fever, chills, weakness, confusion, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting it is important that you seek medical attention right away.
Protection from the sun is equally important because it not only prevents sunburn, it lessens your risks for skin cancer. Harmful rays from the sun are one of the major causes of skin cancer. The deadliest form of skin cancer is melanoma and sun exposure can increase your risk of development. When you are outdoors it is best to follow these steps to protect your skin:
- Wear clothing that covers your skin and a hat to protect your face, ears, and scalp
- Avoid being out in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest
- Stand in the shade if possible or use an umbrella when walking
- Be aware of reflective surfaces that they sun’s rays can reflect off
- Know that your skin can be exposed even in cloudy weather
- Use a sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 that is labeled as “broad spectrum” which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays
Think you know everything about sun exposure? Test your knowledge and share with your friends and family our fun summer sun exposure quiz at umcno.org/summersunquiz