Prepare For Summer With OnSpot
Summer is just around the corner, which means it's time to prepare ourselves for the hot and sunny days ahead. While the warm weather can be exciting, it's important to take the proper steps to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun. That's where the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) comes in. In this blog post, we'll explore what the AAD recommends we do to prepare ourselves for the summer months.
Prepare for More Time in the Sun
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends several steps to help prepare your skin for extended periods of time in the sun. Sun exposure can lead to various skin problems, including sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. It's important to take steps to protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, especially if you're going to be outside for an extended period. Here's what the AAD recommends:
1.) Apply sunscreen: Sunscreen is one of the most important tools you can use to protect your skin from the sun. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply it generously to all exposed skin, including your face, ears, neck, and hands. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you're swimming or sweating. Make sure to use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin thoroughly. A good rule of thumb is to use a shot glass full of sunscreen for your entire body.
2.) Seek shade: The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to stay in the shade during this time, especially if you're going to be outside for an extended period. You can also use an umbrella, sunshade, or other shelter to protect yourself from the sun.
3.) Wear protective clothing: Protective clothing can also help to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck, and ears. Choose clothing that is made from tightly woven fabrics that offer better protection against the sun's rays.
4.) Use sunglasses: Your eyes are also at risk of UV damage from the sun. Use sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV rays to protect your eyes from damage. Look for sunglasses that offer broad-spectrum protection and wrap around your eyes to offer more protection.
5.) Check the UV index: The UV index is a measure of the strength of the sun's UV rays. Check the UV index before you go outside and take appropriate measures to protect your skin. The UV index is highest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so be especially careful during these hours.
6.) Drink plenty of fluids: Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but it's especially important when you're spending extended periods of time in the sun. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, sports drinks, or other fluids, to stay hydrated and help your body function properly.
7.) Be aware of medications that increase sun sensitivity: Some medications, such as antibiotics and acne medications, can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any medications that may increase your risk of sunburn or skin damage.
8.) Check your skin regularly: Finally, it's important to check your skin regularly for any changes, such as new or changing spots or moles. If you notice any changes in your skin, see a dermatologist as soon as possible. Early detection is key to successfully treating skin cancer.
What Can Happen If You Don't Protect Yourself From the Sun?
Failing to protect yourself from the sun can lead to a range of negative consequences. The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage your skin and eyes, even on cloudy days. Here are some of the consequences of not protecting yourself from the sun:
Sunburn: Sunburn is a common consequence of too much sun exposure. When your skin is exposed to the sun for an extended period, it can become red, tender, and painful. In severe cases, sunburn can cause blistering and peeling.
Premature Aging: Over time, the sun's UV rays can cause your skin to age prematurely. Exposure to UV rays can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, making you look older than you really are.
Skin Cancer: The most serious consequence of failing to protect yourself from the sun is skin cancer. UV exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The two main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, a less common but more dangerous type of skin cancer, is also associated with UV exposure.
Eye Damage: The sun's UV rays can also damage your eyes. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, a clouding of the eye's natural lens that can impair vision. It can also cause macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60.
Heat Exhaustion: Spending extended periods in the sun can also lead to heat exhaustion, which is a condition characterized by dehydration, dizziness, and fatigue. It's important to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade to avoid heat exhaustion.
Failing to protect yourself from the sun can have serious consequences for your health. Sunburn, premature aging, skin cancer, eye damage, and heat exhaustion are all potential consequences of too much sun exposure. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing protective clothing, using sunscreen, seeking shade, and being aware of the UV index. By taking these steps, you can enjoy the outdoors safely and avoid the negative consequences of too much sun exposure.
What to Do If You Get a Sunburn
Sunburn is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays for an extended period. Sunburns can be painful, uncomfortable, and can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. In fact, for every 5 sunburns you get, your chances of developing melanoma double. If you have a sunburn, there are several things you can do to relieve your symptoms and help your skin heal.
Firstly, it's important to get out of the sun as soon as possible. Stay indoors or seek shade until your skin has healed completely. If you have to be outside, wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. You can also use an umbrella or a sunshade to protect yourself from the sun.
Next, you can use cool compresses to ease the pain and discomfort. Apply a cold, damp towel or a cold compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time. This will help to reduce inflammation and soothe your skin.
You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and avoid taking more than the recommended amount.
It's also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Sunburn can cause dehydration, which can make your symptoms worse. Drink water, sports drinks, or other fluids to stay hydrated and help your body heal.
Moisturizing your skin is also important when you have a sunburn. Apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to the affected area several times a day. This will help to keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from peeling.
If your sunburn is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist. They can recommend stronger medications, such as topical steroids or oral steroids, to help relieve your symptoms and speed up the healing process.
Enjoying the Summer Safely
It's important to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the summer months and protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. By following the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Dermatology, you can enjoy your time in the sun while still keeping your skin and overall health safe.
Remember to seek shade, wear protective clothing, wear sunscreen, and protect your eyes. It's also important to see a dermatologist if you notice any new or changing spots on your skin, and to perform regular self-examinations of your skin. And if you do get a sunburn, make sure to take the necessary steps to cool down and heal your skin.
By taking these steps, you can enjoy your summer safely without having to avoid the sun altogether. With a little preparation and care, you can have a fun and healthy summer season.