Summer Sun Tips

Summer Sun Tips

At last, summer is here again, with warmer weather beckoning us to spend more time outdoors. It’s the perfect time to learn about some important summer sun tips to keep you safe. Especially right now, with pools opening soon and family vacations to tropical destinations. We want you to have fun but also practice sun safety. Sun safety is essential whether you golf, garden, walk, or do any other outdoor activities. Through our work in dermatology, we see numerous hazardous effects of ultraviolet light exposure. The worst immediate effect, of course, is sunburn.

Summer Sun Tips

The staff at Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands want to share our summer sun tips with you. We want you to enjoy the sunshine and stay safe.

See the recent summer sun tips we published about this: https://www.midlandsderm.com/extinguishing-your-sunburn/. Many of the long-term effects of UVA and UVB rays include skin cancer and premature aging.

Tanning Beds

Don’t use tanning beds or Ultraviolet UV light on your skin without a dermatologist’s advice for skin conditions. It has been more than 10 years since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning beds as the highest-order (group 1) carcinogen. This is due to how they cause skin cancer in humans.

Using a tanning bed to get a tan is never safe and can have a plethora of side effects. Side effects can include an increased risk of skin cancer and severe skin damage.

Sun Exposure

Minimize UV ray exposure during peak daylight hours, which are generally from 10 AM to 6 PM this time of year. Keep an eye on the clock and be mindful of the following:

  • How long have you spent outside?
  • When did you last apply sunscreen?
  • How much direct sunlight exposure have you received?

Each of us is a bit different in our ability to tolerate sunlight. Some individuals have a very fair complexion that can sunburn very rapidly. Others with darker complexions can tolerate much more sun exposure.

Protective Measures

When outdoors during the daytime in the summer, use measures to protect your skin from the sun. This includes staying in the shade and considering wide-brimmed hats for added protection. Broad-brimmed hats can shield your face and neck from the sun’s UV rays. This will protect your eyes and prevent sunburn on your face.

Sun-protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, is also recommended. Sun-protective clothing is readily available. Coolibar has many great options when it comes to sun-protective clothing. (www.coolibar.com).

Sunscreen For The Face and Body

Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen to help prevent skin cancer and sun damage (even on cloudy days). Think about using this anytime you expect to spend more than 15 minutes outside in a day.

Apply two coats of sunscreen to your face and body before going out. Apply one coat 20 minutes before and another coat immediately before you go. Be thorough in your application.

Many people forget the tops and backs of the ears, tops of the feet, and parts of the back. Consider having someone help you reach these areas. Help your children apply sunscreen so that they learn by your example and do a thorough job. You should reapply sunscreen to your face and body every two hours.

Best Sunscreen to Use

Many sunscreen products are available. Active ingredients include both physical and chemical blocking agents. Physical blockers like titanium or zinc oxide reflect the UV light. Chemical blockers, such as avobenzone, absorb the light.

Some of the best sunscreens will have a combination of active sunscreen agents. We recommend looking for broad-spectrum products, meaning they block both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B light.

If you will be doing activities where you will swim or sweat and expect water exposure, look for a water-resistant sunscreen. We recommend sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or more for the sun protection factor SPF number. Neutrogena is one of the most common product lines that our dermatology providers recommend.

Disclosure Note:

You can find cosmetic-grade sunscreens for your face and body (Skin Medica) in our clinics or our online store at https://midlandsderm.brilliantconnections.com/home?lang=en_US

We also have powder-based sunscreens for your face and body (Color Science). These are available for purchase in our Omaha and Council Bluffs clinics. These powder-based sunscreens provide broad-spectrum UV protection without the greasy feel. All Color Science (staff favorite) cosmetic products have some sun protection in them.

Any review of sun protection is incomplete without covering at least briefly some of the hot buttons or controversial topics.

Vitamin D

First, the hazard that comes from minimizing sun exposure can be lowering your vitamin D levels. The primary importance of vitamin D is that it helps us absorb Calcium from our gut maintaining healthy bones.

For vitamin D that our bodies make, the final step in production occurs in the skin. Production is triggered by ultraviolet light. However, we do not need sun exposure to get our vitamin D.

You can get this through supplementation either through fortified milk or taking a vitamin. Numerous online resources will direct you to the appropriate dose of vitamin D.

Chemical Blockers

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that some chemical blockers in sunscreen can be absorbed into the body. These chemical blockers may be detected in the bloodstream after use. More study is needed to determine if this could have any future health effects on us.

Detecting these chemicals in the blood is not surprising. The skin is very good at absorbing things applied to it. Until scientific evidence shows any danger, the best dermatologists still support the use of sunscreen with these ingredients.

Wrapping It Up

Know Yourself, Know your surroundings and environment, and be a pro at protecting yourself and your family from ultraviolet light. Follow these summer sun tips and have a safe and fun summer! Remember to fill a shot glass with sunscreen and apply it generously.

Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands | Best Dermatologist Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA | Board Certified Dermatologists

We hope to host an open house and free skin cancer screening in Omaha, NE at this clinic sometime in the fall, once social distancing and other COVID-19 safety measures are appropriately relaxed.  In the meantime, for your convenience and availability please consider seeing us at this new clinical location in Omaha. Call us at (402) 933-3770 for more information or contact us to schedule a consultation.