U.S. Dermatology Partners, Fairfax
8316 Arlington Boulevard
Fairfax, VA 22031
Spring Break Sun Tips
People tend to think about sunscreen mostly when they want to prevent sunburn, but that is just a small part of what sunscreen is essential for. Wearing sunscreen is critical for reducing damage from the sun. Even when you don’t see a sunburn, if you’re not wearing sunscreen, you are exposing your skin to the sun which can still cause damage.
In fact, damage from the sun occurs over your lifetime, not in short spurts. Those days at the beach, or on a boat, might show up in the form of a sunburn or tan, but it’s the daily walk on your lunch break or morning run that keeps the meter running on sun exposure.
That’s why it’s important for you to put on sunscreen every day before you leave your house. Putting on sunscreen should be as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. It’s such a simple practice, and when people make it part of their routine, they’re going to improve the overall health of their skin. It’s something they’ll be glad they did years from now.
With spring break approaching, now is a great time to brush up on sun safety tips so you can enjoy your vacation while protecting your skin and staying healthy.
Studies now show that sunscreen with sun protection factor, (SPF), 50 or higher is more effective than SPF 30 at protecting our skin. There is not much to gain beyond SPF 50, however.
Apply at least 30 minutes prior to going outside to allow time for absorption.
Reapply every 2-3 hours. Putting a timer on your phone is a great way to remember when it is time to reapply.
Don’t forget to extend sunscreen application to often-forgotten places such as the tops of the ears, any exposed scalp and where the forehead meets the hairline. Skin cancers develop in these areas years later because patients forget to apply sunscreen here.
Check In With Your Skin
Even when you are taking all the right precautions to protect yourself from the sun, it’s important to see your board-certified dermatologist at least once a year for a full-body skin check and do monthly self-examinations to look for any changes in your skin.