Let’s face it: Miami is hot. The sun is intense. At our vein clinic in Miami we get lots of people with sun damage or beginning stages of skin cancer. Sun damage goes far beyond the initial sunburn that often occurs. Repeated sun damage has the potential to make skin start looking wrinkled, dry, and discolored. Sun damage may also cause skin cancer, and preventing sun damage is the best way to avoid most skin cancers. Since most people spend more time outdoors in the summer, you’re more likely to end up with damage to your skin during the hot summer months. Discover how you can prevent sun damaged skin while still enjoying your summer.
Always Wear Sunscreen
The simplest, most effective thing you can do to prevent sun damaged skin this summer is to always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen is essential if you plan to be outdoors on the beach or by the pool. However, most of your sun exposure takes place during routine daily activities, which means you need to wear sunscreen all the time. You should wear at least SPF 30 if you’ll be in the sun for 15 minutes or longer. New studies show that skin damage from the sun’s dangerous UV rays can continue for hours after sun exposure, so the best way to prevent this is to make sure you’re protecting skin from UV rays with sunscreen.
Pay Attention to Reflective Surfaces
Many people think they are safe from sun damage when in the shade, but staying in a shaded area doesn’t always protect from sun damage, particularly if you’re around reflective surfaces. Water, concrete, and sand can all reflect the sun’s rays onto skin, which means you can get sun while in the shade. Reflective surfaces can make damage even worse if you’re in direct sun.
Protect the Face and Eyes
Your face and eyes are both especially sensitive to damage from the sun, and the eyes particularly are often the first areas of the skin to show damage and signs of aging. Keep the eyes and the skin around them protected with sunglasses, looking for options that say they block UV rays. Going with sunglasses with wider lenses will better protect that delicate skin around the eye area. Wearing a hat also offers protecting for the skin on the face, neck, and ears, although you need to ensure you have a hat that has a two- to three-inch brim for the best protection.
Look at the Clock
Avoiding the sun when the ultraviolet rays are at their strongest is one of the best ways to prevent sun damaged skin. The middle of the day, from about 10 am to 3 pm, are when the sun’s rays are strongest. Try to stay out of the sun during these hours, and if you do need to be in the sun, be sure to reapply sunscreen often and consider wearing protective clothing, such as UPF clothing, which is designed to protect skin from UVA and UVB rays.