The Women's Dermatologic Society (WDS) recommends that people of all ages take daily precautions to protect the skin from the heightened risks of prolonged sun exposure. Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable cause of skin cancer, so individuals are urged to make the commitment to safeguard their health. Redheads are extremely vulnerable to sun damage from over-exposure.
1) Apply a UVA and UVB sunscreen (broad-spectrum) with an SPF of 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outdoors.
2) Be sure to cover all exposed parts of your body.
3) Re-apply every two hours! Even on a cloudy or cool day.
4) Completely cover all exposed areas of your face, head and body, ears, neck, nose, shoulders, back of the hands and front/back of your arms and legs.
5) Cover your lips with sun protective lip balm or sunscreen.
6) Seek shade whenever possible.
7) Wear a broad-brimmed hat to help protect your face, ears and neck.
8) Protect your eyes with UV-protective sunglasses.
9) Wear sun-protective clothing (tightly woven), including long pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible.
Health Fair Tips
1. Wear appropriate clothes and accessories: Loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from the sun's UV rays.
2. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Always put on sunscreen before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options.
Cosmetics: Some makeup and lip balms contain some of the same chemicals used in sunscreens. If they do not have at least SPF 15, don't use them by themselves.
3. Avoid the peak sun hours: The hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Daylight Saving Time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure. Try to limit your outdoor activity to the morning and the evening, when the temperature is lower and the sun is less intense.
4. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids: It's easy to become dehydrated during the summer months because fluid evaporates from your skin. You should aim to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. By the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Make sure to increase your water intake if you are exercising or doing any type of prolonged physical activity. Keep in mind that water is the best source of fluids.
5. Turn on your air conditioning: Air conditioning is important when it is hot and humid outside to help prevent heat stroke. If you don't have central air or a room air conditioner, plan an excursion to an indoor shopping mall, community center or movie theater. This is also a good time to check on family and friends, especially the elderly and those who don't have air conditioning.
6. Review your medications: Check your medications because some can cause side effects, like increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays which may cause you to sunburn easier.
7. Watch for heat stroke: Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia where your body temperature is elevated dramatically. Staying hydrated and avoiding vigorous physical activity in hot and humid weather is important to avoid heat stroke. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps and dizziness. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.