Summer Sun Rules

April 22, 2010 | Health Advice | By: Ben Legler | Tags: , ,

Bring out the grills, dust off the camping equipment, unpack that favorite swimsuit…summertime is just around the corner! With the cookouts, Boy Scout outings and pool parties come sunburns. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer. Here are just a few tips to avoid blistered skin.

Sun exposure is at its peak between the hours of 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. so, if you can, limit your time in the sun during these hours. Of course, for many of us, staying out of the sun just is not practical. While the best protection would be a full body suit, this is probably not going to work in 100 degree weather and sunscreen is the next best option. But how strong of sunscreen should be used? The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or greater. The sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two to three hours. Re-apply more often if you have been swimming, sweating, or rubbing your skin with a towel. You can protect your lips with a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or greater as well. Wide brimmed hats as well as sunglasses are excellent methods of sun protection, and always a great way to make a fashion statement!

Thanks to Ben Legler, KU Medical Student, for this article!