Sun Safety for Summer Fun
The sun makes life on our planet possible. It’s no wonder that we flock to pools and beaches to worship it each summer. While you’re lounging by the water this year, remember that what feels great now, might cause misery later. Protect yourself from overexposure to the sun so you can continue to enjoy it. A bit of sun safety knowledge can save a vacation and maybe even a life.
The sun emits two types of harmful rays – UVA and UVB. UVB rays damage the skin’s surface, causing burns, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing premature aging. Both types of rays are responsible for causing skin cancer. Dr. Shereen Timani of Johns Creek Dermatology suggests that everyone become familiar with reading sunscreen labels to ensure maximum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
It takes most people around 20 minutes to begin burning without sun protection. The sun protection factor, or SPF, of a sunscreen tells us how long much longer than that average the sunscreen will protect our skin. For example, an SPF 30 sunscreen should offer protection for 30 times longer than 20 minutes. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a product with a minimum SPF of 15. An SPF refers only to protection from UVB rays. For full protection, it is important to choose a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum”.
Sun safety doesn’t stop there. Choose a water resistant sunscreen if contact with water is possible or sweating is likely. Be careful not to forget to reapply according to the product label instructions. Dr. Shereen Timani recommends using a regular moisturizer containing sunscreen to protect the face from daily sun exposure.
In addition to sunscreen, barriers to UVA and UVB rays are an important part of sun safety. Polarized sunglasses shield the eyes from both types of rays, protecting vision and the delicate skin around the eyes. For prolonged sun exposure, long sleeves and pants, as well as wide brim hats provide reliable protection. For water sports, long sleeved rash guards are recommended, especially when access to sunscreen for reapplication may be limited. Use an umbrella for shelter during long afternoons by the water.
Johns Creek Dermatology is here to assist you in caring for your skin. Please contact the staff of Dr. Shereen Timani with any questions you may have. Johns Creek Dermatology serves Alpharetta, Suwanee, Roswell, Duluth, Dawsonville, and Cumming, GA.