It sure feels good to soak up the sun!

It sure feels good to soak up the sun’s rays at the pool while you’re working on that summer tan.  Most of us are aware of the potential risk of skin cancer with sun exposure but did you know that the sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces too?  The sun’s UV light damages the fibers in the skin, and when these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag and stretch.  Although it may not be evident when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life.

So if you want to avoid looking like a dried up prune and not become one of the 3.5 million Americans diagnosed with skin cancer each year, you need to protect your skin from the sun.  Use sun screen that’s 30 SPF or more, with protection against both UVA and UVB rays.  Apply it 15 minutes before going outside and make sure you use enough…most people tend to use way too little.

You’ll need about 2 tablespoons to cover your body well.  Then re-apply every two hours, or every hour if you are in the water.  You could also wear UV protection clothing and try to limit your sun exposure from 10:00-2:00 which is the most intense time.

One last thing… up to eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure happens before age 18.  So be a good parent and apply these preventative measure to your kids early and often.

So doctors’ orders for today?  Enjoy your outdoor summer activities but be smart about taking care of your skin so you and your kids can avoid the risk of skin cancer and skin damage.