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Published on May 02, 2019

5 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

5 Tips for Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

It’s summertime weather, and many of us are headed to the beach for sand, surf and sun! But don’t forget—skin cancer will affect 9,500 people every day, and 1 in 5 people will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Don’t let yourself be a statistic!

By now, everyone knows that sunscreen is important. But are you getting the most out of yours? Here are a few tips to ensure you get the best protection.

  1. If you are going to be outside for extended periods, aim for an SPF of at least 30 with both UVA and UVB protection.
  2. Apply every 2 hours, and reapply every time you swim or sweat.
  3. You need about a “shot glass” full of sunscreen to cover the whole body, so don’t skimp. You need a nickel-sized amount on your face alone. For spray sunscreens, apply until the area is glistening—about 6 seconds per body part. And be sure to rub it in. 
  4. UVA rays penetrate car windows, so sun protection is important in the car, too.
  5. Sunscreen expires, so check those dates on the tube under the counter! 

In addition, consider some of the new, breathable clothing with built-in SPF. These fabrics are especially good for young children and babies, whose skin is more sensitive.

Earlier detection saves lives, so see your dermatologist annually for a checkup. But if you have a mole that is changing in size, shape or color, get it checked out right away!

Be safe, play outside, and have fun!

About the Author

Natalie Depcik-Smith, MD

Natalie Depcik-Smith, MD practices Dematopathology/Pathology and Laboratory Medicine with Greensboro Pathology