It’s summer, which means the sun is out and it’s stronger than ever before. At Texas Dermatology, we want to make sure that all of our patients are doing everything they can do avoid UV ray damage that can cause damage and potentially lead to cancer. In light of UV Safety Awareness Month, we wanted to share with you our top five tips to staying safe while still having some summer fun!
1. Not all sunscreen is created equal!
When buying sunscreen from your local pharmacy, it’s easy to get caught up in the fancy labels or wild claims. What’s most important to keep in mind for UV protection is ensuring your sunscreen is labeled to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Protection from just one of the two will only do so much good for your skin. We also recommend you look for a sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Anything below will help you tan but also cause major damage. You can check out our recommended sunscreen products here.
2. Cover up.
We understand that the summer months get very hot and it’s easier to throw on a tank top and some shorts than to plan out your wardrobe. That being said, protective clothing can make all the difference in the health of your skin. Consider making some small changes like wearing longer pants and a breathable longer-sleeved tee during the day for some extra UV protection. Also, accessorize with some UV protected sunglasses and your favorite hat!
3. Plan your outings according to the weather.
Fun in the sun during summertime always sounds like a great idea until you start seeing sun spots, age spots and freckles pop up that you don’t remember having before. The sun’s UV rays are always strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. When planning your beach outings, consider going to watch the sunrise or sunset to avoid the times when UV rays are strongest. Or, if you do plan a beach day during those times, invest in an umbrella or find some shady place to lounge around to take a break from the harsh sun.
4. Always say no to a tanning bed.
We understand that you want to look as sun-kissed as possible during the summer, but going to a tanning bed is just asking for trouble. Tanning beds are chalked full of damaging UV rays that can lead to skincare problems down the road. If you still want the look of going to the beach without harming your skin, we highly recommend self-tanning lotions and sprays. It’ll give you the look of staying out in the sun or at the tanning salon without actually damaging your skin.
5. Check your skin regularly.
Early detection is key for treating skin cancer. We can’t stress the importance of monthly self-examinations and yearly skin examinations with one of our expert staff members. If you do find a spot on your skin that doesn’t look familiar or is showing signs of malformation, we strongly suggest coming in for a check with one of our doctors. We always want you to feel welcome coming into our office, even if it’s just to double-check.
If you have any other questions about how you can get extra UV protection during the hot Texas summers, feel free to call our office today and schedule a consultation with one of our professionals. You can either come into our office or schedule a virtual consultation, where you can get all of your questions answered from the comfort and safety of your own home.