In the summer, we spend a lot more time outdoors. Do you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from harmful sun exposure? Our July newsletter is dedicated to safe, health-literate fun in the sun! We will talk about:
- what is sunburn, and how to manange sunburn
- skin cancer
- how to find a physician or care provider
- walking for fitness in the summer
SPF of at least 15 is recommended (it provides 93% protection). An SPF of 30 provides 97% protection. FYI – SPF 30 is NOT twice as protective as an SPF 15.
Sunscreens protect your skin from either UVA or UVB rays or – ideally – BOTH.
UVA rays are NOT blocked by the ozone layer. They penetrate deep into the skin and excessive exposure can contribute to premature aging of the skin. Think the A is for Aging.UVB rays are PARTIALLY absorbed by the ozone layer. They mostly affect the surface of the skin and are the primary cause of sunburns. Think the B is for Burns.
Broad spectrum typically means protection from UVA and UVB exposure, but you need to read the ingredient list to determine how much protection you’re actually getting.
If your shadow is TALLER than you – you’re getting a lower exposure to UV radiation (think early morning and late afternoon). If your shadow is SHORTER than you – you’re getting a higher exposure to UV radiation (think mid-day).
Reapply every 2 hours, or after toweling off. If you’re sweating or in the water, reapply every 40 to 80 minutes.
Staying Healthy at the Beach This Summer
Tom Cummiskey, MS, Outreach Librarian, Plymouth Public Library, Consumer Health Resource Center
Here are some pointers and reliable places to go on the Internet to learn more about staying safe and having fun this Summer on White Horse Beach or any vacation spot you visit.
Protection from the Sun
Learn all about sun exposure on MedlinePlus.gov from the National Library of Medicine: https://medlineplus.gov/sunexposure.html
This article features famous people who have dealt with skin cancer and ways to detect it:
Skin Cancer Can Strike Anyone https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/pdf/MedlinePlusSummer_web.pdf
View an in-depth video on the sun’s effect on the skin from MedlinePlus.gov:
All About SPF - Skin Protection Factor
The Mayo Clinic provides a simple rundown about SPF:
Sunscreens and the FDA -
“FDA regulates sunscreens to ensure they meet safety and effectiveness standards. To improve the quality, safety, and effectiveness of sunscreens, FDA issued a proposed rule on February 21, 2019 that describes updated proposed requirements for sunscreens. Given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, Americans should continue to use sunscreen with other sun protective measures as this important rulemaking effort moves forward.” https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun
Walking this Summer for Fitness
The National Institute on Aging gives tips on how to start a Walking Club: https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/walking-clubs
Finding A Care Provider or Physician
MedlinePlus.gov has Care Provider Directories for a variety of specialists: https://medlineplus.gov/directories.html
Remember: Always talk first with your Physician or HealthCare Provider about any new medications, treatments or any information found online. Do not use the information in this article to diagnose or treat any health issues. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Please seek professional medical advice and do not delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.
Just in case you do get a sunburn, here are some links to help manage and treat it!
What is a Sunburn?
Sunburn treatment and management:
Jim O'Neil, B.S., PharmD
Bridgewater Patient Advocacy and Wellness Services, PLLC
P.O. Box 273
Bridgewater, MA 02324
Phone: (508) 801-3035