July is National UV Safety Month and here at Windom Area Health, we want our patients and community to stay sun safe. Making sure you have the proper protection when you are out in the sun is key to helping protect your skin from harmful rays. A variety of SPF products are on the market to help assist in protecting your skin, keeping it looking youthful. Sunscreen is important to wear on a regular basis and knowing which level on SPF to put on your skin can help prevent burns.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using SPF 30 and higher to help keep your skin protected. Also making sure to wear hats, sunglasses and seeking shade may aide in keeping away a burn. It is always a good idea to look for water-resistant sunscreen, due to sweating that could take place from the heat or being in water. No matter if you sweat, or hop in the lake, it is always recommended to reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes. In addition, making sure your sunscreen is “broad spectrum” will help from protecting both UVA and UVB rays. A helpful tip is to put sunscreen on twenty to thirty minutes before you go out in the sun to help the skin absorb the sunscreen prior to being exposed.

People most susceptible to sunburns include people who have fair skin, light-colored eyes (gray-blue) and hair (blonde, red or light brown), and freckles. Some medications may also increase a person’s chance of getting a sunburn. Being aware of your risk is a great way to help properly prevent from being burned. It is always recommended to check for any changes in skin color, moles, birthmarks and checking to see if new marks have appeared. If you do notice any changes, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Always be prepared when you are going to have some fun in the sun. Taking precautionary measures by wearing long sleeves, seeking shade and wearing the proper amount of SPF sunscreen, can prevent skin damage and help keep your skin looking healthy. Here at Windom Area Health, we are dedicated to health and want to make sure you have a fun and safe summer!

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