Summer Skin Care: Preventing Sunburn

Sunburn and summertime are often assumed to go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are a number of effective ways to prevent sunburn. While it’s important for everyone to take precautions against sunburn, they are especially important for children and those with fair skin. Studies suggest that people with a history of sunburns during childhood and adolescence are at higher risk for skin cancer in adulthood. Even moderate exposure during childhood can contribute to wrinkling, toughening and freckling of the skin in later life.

Tips to Prevent Sunburn

It’s important to understand that sunburn can happen even on cool, cloudy or hazy days. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation – the type of light most responsible for sunburn – can still pass through clouds and cause sunburn when the sun isn’t out. You should also be cautious during the winter as the sun’s UV rays can reflect off snow and ice and result in sunburn.

Avoid sun exposure. Avoid being out in the sun for an extended period of time or during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are most intense (10:00AM to 4:00PM). If you must be outdoors, seek shade when possible.

Use sunscreen. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater every day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating heavily.

Cover up. Sunscreen alone is not enough to prevent sun damage. Cover up with tightly woven clothing that can keep out the sun’s rays, as well as a broad-brimmed hat and UV-rated sunglasses. Dark colors offer more protection, as do fabrics treated with UV-absorbing chemicals.

Keep babies out of the sun. Try to keep babies out of direct sun for the first six months of age. Newborn skin is thinner and contains less melanin, making babies more vulnerable to both sunburn and the chemicals found in sunscreen. Seek shade and dress a baby in sun-protective clothing.

Get Treated for Sunburn at RediClinic

RediClinic encourages you to practice sun safety this summer. For treatment of a serious sunburn, rashes and other common skin conditions, visit your nearest RediClinic walk-in clinic in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle or Baltimore. Each walkin clinic is open seven days a week, with no appointment needed to see our board-certified clinicians.

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