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Sun-Safe Summer Fun
Northern Virginia Dermatology, Vein & Surgery Center

Sun-Safe Summer Fun

As you plan your outdoor activities, be sure to be safe in the sun and know how to protect your skin from sun damage and the harmful effects of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Excessive sun exposure is the most common and preventable risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Here are some simple ways the American Academy of Dermatology recommends for you to stay safe this summer

Use Sunscreen

Generously apply a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin and under any light-colored or loose-fitting clothing. Broad Spectrum sunscreens provide protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

Be sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours and after any water exposure including swimming or sweating. And yes, sunscreen should be worn even on cloudy days.

Wear Sun Protective Clothing

When participating in outdoor activities, remember to bring sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Long-sleeved shirts and pants should also be worn whenever possible.

Find Shade

The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Avoid prolonged periods of sun exposure during these hours, reapply sunscreen frequently and find a shaded area that protects you from direct sun exposure. Rule of thumb If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, find a shaded area.

Use Caution Near Water and Sand

Water and sand can reflect and intensify the harmful rays of the sun and increase your risk of burning.

No Tanning Beds

Ultraviolet light from tanning beds increases the risk of skin cancer and increases signs of aging on the skin. To get that sun-kissed look, consider getting a spray tan or try using a self-tanning product.

Get Your Vitamin D Safely

Sun exposure is not the only way your body gets Vitamin D. It can be obtained safely through a healthy diet which includes naturally enriched vitamin D foods, Dietary supplements, fortified foods and beverages. If you are Vitamin D deficient, speak to your doctor about safe ways to treat your condition that do not increase your risk of skin cancer.

Visit Your Dermatologist

Develop a monthly routine to inspect your skin. If a growth, mole, sore, or skin discoloration appears suddenly, or begins to change, see your dermatologist. Have your dermatologist examine your skin at least once a year, especially for adults with significant past sun exposure as a child or if you have a family history of skin cancer.

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