Protect yourself from the sun’s rays

Skin cancer can be prevented

Contributed by Carrie Schuerfranz, RN, CPCS

sunscreen mom and daughterThe single most important thing you can do this summer to safeguard your skin from the sun’s damaging rays is to use sunscreen. But in order to maximize its effectiveness, you must apply it correctly. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Apply sunscreen (preferably a lotion) 10-15 minutes before going outside so it has a chance absorb into your skin. In this case, more is better!
  • Choose a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or more and broad spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating.

Also, did you know that 78 percent of all sun damage is from incidental exposure like driving and walking? Therefore, it’s best to apply sunscreen every day, not just when you’re planning on spending a great deal of time outdoors. Finally, throw away last year’s unused sunscreen for a new bottle. Sunscreens don’t last forever, and given that most people don’t use as much as they should, you probably have a bottle or two stored away. Be safe and pick up a new one.

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