June 24, 2015

Summer has arrived! During this time of year, you’re more likely to spend time outdoors with your family enjoying activities that increase your skin’s exposure to the sun.

However, though the warmth of the sun may feel good on your skin, even a short time outdoors may cause damage to unprotected skin.

There are several things you can do that will protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Here are a few:

Avoid the sun and seek shade. UV rays are the strongest during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so avoid being in the direct sun at that time. Instead, plan activities indoors when the UV rays are the strongest or in shaded areas such as under trees, an umbrella or a tent.

Wear protective clothing. Wear clothes made with tightly woven fabrics in darker shades which offer the best protection. Whenever possible, wear long sleeves and pants that offer more UV protection.

Wear a hat. Not all hats cover the ears and neck. Select a hat that shades the face, scalp, ears and neck for the best coverage. Apply sunscreen to unprotected areas of the skin.

Wear sunglasses. Wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays. The frames should wrap around and block the rays of the sun as much as possible.

Apply sunscreen liberally and frequently. Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA/UVB protection on exposed skin when spending time outdoors. Apply as directed by following the instructions on the package. The ears, nose and mouth require protection as well.

The effects of the sun can cause damage to unprotected skin in as few as 15 minutes. Remember that it may take up to 12 hours for the skin to show evidence of the effects of the sun. Changes in skin color, such as a sunburn or tan, are indications of the damaging effects of UV rays.

For more sun safety tips, visit the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.