Skin Care for the Sun
Caring for your skin during the sunny days of summer helps ensure that your skin will stay healthy and smooth long into adulthood. Skincare when you plan to be in the sun is even more important, as the UV and UVB rays can cause deep and lasting damage if left unchecked. A basic sunscreen is a good start, but do you know how to take care of your skin in the sun?
Using a good sunscreen should be a common sense measure. Be sure to choose a brand with an SPF rating of 30, and apply to every bit of exposed skin, including your face, forehead, neck, and shoulders. Sunburn is not only painful, but it can also cause lasting damage in the form of scars and changes to the cells that can lead to certain types of cancer. Reapply sunscreen frequently throughout the day, and spend the mid-day hours, when the sun is most direct, in the shade. Don’t forget to reapply after swimming or sweating.
Staying hydrated in the heat is critical not only to your overall health but to the health of your skin. Skin relies upon water to stay lubricated and fresh. During hot days, even when swimming, we sweat constantly. That loss of moisture needs to be replaced. Water is best. Avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol, all of which tend to cause the body to expel even more water. Drink water flavored with a few slices of your favorite fruit.
Signs to Watch For
Small, white bumps or small sores that bleed but don’t heal, red, scaly bumps that may have a depression in their centers, or asymmetrical dark spots, especially those that have uneven edges, more than one color, and are larger than the tip of a pencil eraser may be indications of melanoma, a serious skin cancer. See a dermatologist immediately if you notice any of these signs, and check your body regularly for unusual or new spots. Caught early, melanoma is extremely treatable. Most of all, enjoy the sun safely and be kind to your skin.