The Summer sun is heating up which means more time is spent enjoying the outdoors. While sunlight can provide us with vitamin D, overexposure can cause irreversible skin damage and increase your chances of developing skin cancer. It is especially important to be proactive and to protect your skin on a daily basis.
If you suffer from prolonged sun damage, a critical sun burn or skin rash, get immediate medical care. The medical team at our Urgent Care Centers in Upper Darby and Chester, PA, is available extended hours, seven days a week to meet your needs. No appointment is necessary. In the meantime, follow these helpful tips to avoid summer skin damage.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Even moderate exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet rays can cause damage to your skin. Both UVA and UVB rays are harmful. They can cause your skin to age prematurely through the development of wrinkles, brown spots and loss of skin tone. Sunburns or repeated sun exposure can lead to the development of skin cancers.
Wearing sunscreen is your first line of protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays since it is possible for both to penetrate protective clothing or hats. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30 or greater and re-apply it if you are out in the sun for a long time, you go swimming or you are profusely sweating. Do not overlook areas like your ears and toes.
Accessorize and Seek Shaded Areas
A wide-brimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses are great ways to block the sun. Try to find sunglasses that block 99% of UV light. And the bigger the brim of the hat the better. Just by spending some time in the shade you reduce your chance of getting skin cancer. Avoiding prolonged exposure when the sun is at its strongest during the hours of 10 am to 4 pm is best.
Do Not Sunbathe
Laying out in the sun for an extended period of time is never a good idea, even if you are wearing sunscreen. Instead, find a spot in the shade, under a tree or beach umbrella. Since the UV rays can still get through, you should still apply sunscreen. Also, consider covering your face and body with protective clothing.
Keep Your Skin Clean
Sweat, dirt and pollution clog pores and allow bacteria to grow on your skin. Regular bathing and personal hygiene can prevent the pimples, boils and fungal infections that can develop on any part of your body.
Both women and men should develop a regular routine of washing, exfoliating and moisturizing their faces and bodies. Use a cleanser that is compatible with your skin type (dry, oily, or normal). Washing with warm water will open your pores. Exfoliate gently; too much abrasion can cause irritation. Then rinse with cool water and pat dry.
Being outdoors can lead to dry skin. Areas on your face, arms and legs are more susceptible to dryness. The problem increases as you age. Using lotions or other moisturizers can help the symptoms. Look for lotions made with glycerin, lanolin or shea butter.
The best time to apply moisturizers is immediately after showering or washing. Moisturizers work by trapping the skin’s natural moisture and preventing evaporation. They also add a layer of protection against the elements. For added protection, use a moisturizer combined with sunscreen.
Your best skin moisturizer comes from within. Drinking plenty of water can aid your body’s ability to “self-moisturize.” A well-hydrated body translates into well-hydrated skin. Water helps maintain your skin’s plumpness and elasticity, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines. It also flushes toxins from your system and helps your skin maintain a healthy pH balance.
Your optimal water intake depends on factors such as your lifestyle, health conditions and activity level. A good rule to follow in determining whether you are getting enough water is to watch the color of your urine. It should be light yellow or almost clear. If it is too dark, you need to drink more.
Know Your Allergies
Skin rashes and irritations can be caused by allergies to foods, substances or environmental factors. Commonly, people develop contact dermatitis when something they are allergic to touches their skin. Often, it is easy to identify the source. For example, if you develop a rash after putting sunscreen on, it is possible the ingredients are the culprit. When it is harder to know what allergen triggers your dermatitis, a doctor or allergist may help you identify what you are allergic to.
Check Your Skin Often
You should perform skin self-exams every month. Notify your doctor if you notice any new spots or moles, changes to existing moles or anything else that looks suspicious.
Keeping Your Skin Healthy in the Greater Philadelphia Area this Summer
You can keep your skin healthy throughout your lifetime, but you do have to protect it. If you suffer from skin allergies, a sunburn or develop any other questionable skin problem, get relief fast. You don’t need to schedule an appointment to see an expert medical providers at one of our Everest Urgent Care locations in Upper Darby or Chester, PA.