Enjoy the sun without getting burned in the Mid-Atlantic States

JUN 07, 2018
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There are plenty of long, lazy summer days left to enjoy — which means more time to explore the Mid-Atlantic States’ beautiful parks, beaches, and hiking trails. No matter where your adventures take you, it’s important to protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful rays. A little prevention now can save you the pain of a sunburn — and help protect you from the early signs of aging and skin cancer.


Stay safe in the sun


Avoiding the sun isn’t easy during the summer months. But when you can, try to stay indoors during peak sunlight hours — between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you have to go outside, stay in the shade or use an umbrella to block ultraviolet rays.


You can also wear clothing or accessories to help minimize your exposure, including:


  • Woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs
  • Special fabrics with UV protection built in
  • Sunglasses that offer protection from UV rays
  • Wide-brimmed hats that shade your face, neck, and scalp

Choose the right sunscreen


Select a sunscreen that offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Make sure the label says “broad spectrum,” which means it blocks both ultraviolet A and B rays.


Lips can get sunburned too, but they’re often forgotten when it comes to sun protection. So use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 when you’re spending time outdoors.


Apply early and often


Many people only apply sunscreen once per day, but it’s important to reapply frequently. To make sure you get the most out of your sun protection:


  • Apply your sunscreen up to 30 minutes before you go outside.
  • Spread an even layer over all skin that will be exposed to the sun — such as your ears, neck, scalp, nose, and hands.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating. Water lowers your protection from the sunscreen even if you’re using a waterproof formula.
  • Consider zinc oxide for vulnerable spots like your nose. It’ll block most of the sun’s rays from hitting your skin.

It may be tempting to use artificial tanning booths to get that summer glow without spending time in the sun. But they may also put you at risk for skin cancer. It’s a good idea to avoid them, or at least use with caution.


If you get burned, take care


Maybe you missed a spot with the sunscreen or stayed out longer than you planned for. If you do get burned, take extra good care of your skin!


Learn more about how to prevent and treat sunburns.


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