Keep your skin safe in the sun

DESPITE THE recent rash of wet weather, the hottest months of the year are rapidly approaching.

July 1 is Monday and August is right around the corner.

Sun worshipers are ready to bask in the warm glow, taking in those rays to work on that perfect tan. And let’s not forget those whose jobs require them to work in that same sun for eight hours or more each day.

While that tan may be appealing to your eyes in the mirror, underneath, your skin may have a differing opinion.

Skin cancer is a very serious issue. More than two million people are diagnosed annually as it is the most common form of cancer.

And over the last three decades, more people have developed skin cancer than in all other cancers combined.

This happens despite an increasing number of options for protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.

While applying tanning lotion and wearing ultra-violet ray blocking sunglasses are easy protection methods, people easily forget to apply such remedies.

The Center for Disease Control recommends people seek shade, especially during midday hours when the sun is at its peak, and most powerful.

It also recommends using a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Some brands even go up to 100 SPF. The greater the number, the greater the protection.

Important to consider when using sunscreen is to reapply another layer of protection every few hours, along with after swimming and toweling off.

If you plan to take in a full day at the beach or the pool, one application of sunscreen isn’t going to do the trick?

That’s because unprotected skin can be damaged by the UV rays in as little as 15 minutes.

Tan skin may look appealing, but it’s also indicative that your skin has been damaged by the sun, whether you’ve become tan or burnt. It’s only a matter of degree as the damage has been done.

The CDC also recommends curtailing use of tanning beds.

The UV rays from tanning beds and sun lamps can be up to stronger from UV rays from the sign, even at it’s strongest position at noon.

Whether you’re hitting the pool or working or playing outdoors under the hot sun, remember to keep your skin protected.

Use sunscreen. Put on a pair of shades. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep your face out of direct sunlight. You’re skin will thank you.

Hughes may be reached at