Here's how to stay sun safe on spring break
Winter’s coming to an end – time for sun, right?
But as much as we want to catch some rays this time of year, it’s important to stay safe. If you and your family members don’t protect your skin, the exposure can lead to serious health problems. There were 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society – making it more common than breast, lung and colon cancer combined.
Everyone is at risk for skin damage – people of all skin colors – and the main risk is simply too much sun exposure on unprotected skin.
"Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S.," says Shannon Trotter, MD, dermatologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Prevention is important to decreasing the risk of skin cancer, and being smart about sun safety is the perfect place to start."
Below are five tips from Ohio State dermatologists to stay safe in the sun this spring break:
1. Put on sunscreen, and keep putting it on.
Keep your lotion handy, applying it to exposed skin at least 30 minutes before going outdoors. Then, reapply every two hours. Choose a product that says "broad spectrum" coverage with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
2. Avoid the worst times for sun exposure.
Limit your time in the sun between 10 a.m.-4 p.m., when its rays are strongest. And be aware that snow, ice, sand, water and concrete around pools can reflect UV rays and increase your chance of sunburn.
3. Cover up.
Wear protective, tightly woven clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants. If your skin is sensitive, consider buying sun-protective lightweight clothing. Use an umbrella for shade.
4. Get fashionable with a big hat and cool shades.
Wear a tightly woven hat with a round brim – at least 4 inches wide. And protect your eyes from sunlight with sunglasses, even when walking short distances or driving. Even the sunlight coming through your car window can damage your eyes and skin.
5. No clouds, no problem? Think again.
Remember that your skin can burn on a cloudy day, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds.
We’re all excited for a little bit of a Buckeye spring break. But if you follow these simple tips, you can help secure yourself a lifetime of good health.