Getting outside and enjoying the sunshine is one of the best parts about summer. Being out in the sun can improve our mood and ease aches and pains.
Without protection, sunlight can also cause burns. These burns can be painful, and they increase your risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and cold sores.
All skin types are affected by the sun. Use sunscreen to protect your skin, and you can enjoy the benefits of sunshine and limit your chances of getting burned.
Here’s how to use sunscreen to help prevent sunburn:
- Choose sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.
- Use sunscreen labeled “Broad Spectrum.” Broad spectrum sunscreen blocks all the sun’s harmful rays.
- Use a water-resistant sunscreen if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
- Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before going out in the sun.
- Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Use enough to fully cover yourself. It takes about a golf ball size amount of sunscreen to cover an adult.
- If you need to use DEET, don’t buy something that combines the two. Put your sunscreen on, and then put on your bug spray.
If you do get sunburned:
- Don’t stay out in the sun.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Apply soothing lotion with aloe vera.
- Drink a lot of water.
- If you have a low fever or headache, go lie down in a cool place and take a mild pain reliever, like Tylenol or Advil.
Some sunburns can be serious. Call your doctor if you get a higher fever, start having vision problems, can’t keep fluid down, get an infection in any blisters, or if any symptoms get worse.