*This is a guest post by Alex*
Sunburned? Not again!
Sunburns happen all the time, usually expectantly. You’re just trying to embrace the summer by lying around on the beach, getting your swim on or socializing at a BBQ, but the next day disaster strikes in the form of peeling, painful, red skin.
It’s uncomfortable, but it only lasts for a bit, right?
Here’s the thing: Skin damage is cumulative, meaning that every UV ray that attacks your unprotected skin will add up over time.
Next time you’re outside for a short run, tack that time onto your lifetime exposure to the sun, which causes premature aging and skin cancer.
So, how can you save yourself some skin damage and premature wrinkles?
Before you start counting the hours, minutes, and seconds you’ve been outside without sunscreen and panicking about the oncoming aging you’ll face, let’s just chill-out.
There’s tons of anti-aging info out there to help you keep your skin looking fantastic. However, it’s much easier to prevent premature aging and cancer than to fix those problems.
Let’s talk about what you can do NOW to reduce the impact sun exposure will have on you in the future.
And no, I’m not telling you to shut the curtains, never leave the house, and resign yourself to the life of a cat-lady just to protect yourself.
Being outside is fun and healthy, you just have to be smart about it. Most dermatologists recommend you wear sunscreen daily when outside.
Yes, each and every time you go outside you should be slathering your exposed skin with an SPF over 30.
Why sunscreen with over 30 SPF? Well, here’s the deal: SPF works on a curve, meaning that the increase in protection between low SPF’s like 5 and 10 is drastically smaller than that between 30 and 35.
Finding shade and wearing protective clothing are just as important as wearing sunscreen. Wearing long sleeves, a hat, or sunglasses when it’s sunny out also helps to cut down your chances of skin damage.
There will be times when you don’t think you need to protect yourself, but UV rays are out there even when the sun isn’t. You can monitor the severity of UV rays each day by checking the UV index on-line or in the newspaper. This will keep you up-to speed on the severity of the sun’s rays.
Get Your Skin Checked
There is a lot of information out there about cancerous spots and what they may look like on the skin. I know I’ve compared pictures of a mole on my arm to others on the internet.
While there is some helpful information on the web, nothing eases your peace of mind more than seeing your dermatologist. Go see the doctor and get yourself checked out, just in case. Technically you don’t have an excuse because there are a plenty of free clinics around.
So, what are you waiting for?
Alex Roitman, of MySafetySign.com, is working hard on an initiative to prevent skin damage from UV exposure. His new website, Should I Wear Sunscreen Today?, is a simple and fun web app that gives you real-time and local sun exposure risks. And it’s pretty cute to boot.