The unofficial start of summer has passed, so we’re headed full force toward warmer weather and outdoor time! Before you head outdoors, though, bone up on some facts about sun safety.

Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed among Americans? One in five Americans will be diagnosed with some type by age 70, which is why our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team wants to share some tips about sun safety.

Why Is Sunscreen Important?

First things first, you know you should wear sunscreen, but why? It’s because the sun emits strong ultraviolet rays that can cause damage to your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.

Sunscreen helps provide your skin with a defense against those rays, including both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. Because those rays can pop through and make it to earth even on cloudy days, apply sunscreen to exposed skin every day.

Ways Sun Can Be Damaging

  • Causes sunburns
  • Increases signs of aging
  • Promotes wrinkles and skin spots
  • Puts you at risk of heat stroke and heat rash
  • Increases risk of skin cancer

What Kind of Sunscreen Do I Need?

When you’re shopping the aisles at the drugstore, the sheer number of different sunscreens can be intimidating. But there are some basics to help guide you when choosing one.

Select a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum,” which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30, and ensure you’re also choosing a sunscreen for your face and lips.

Other Sun Safety Basics

  • Steer clear of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., if possible.
  • Seek shade when outdoors.
  • Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if sweating or swimming.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your ears, scalp and neck.

Feeling under the weather? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team today!