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Protecting Your Skin: The Importance of Sun Protection During the Summer

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it's important to remember the potential risks associated with exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and an increased risk of skin cancer are all potential consequences of excessive sun exposure. To protect your skin during the summer months, it's essential to practice proper sun protection habits.

Wearing sun protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and hats, can help shield your skin from the sun's rays. Additionally, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. SPF measures how long it takes for the sun's UV rays to redden the skin when using a sunscreen compared to when you are not using any sunscreen. For example, if it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 theoretically prevents reddening 30 times longer – about 10 hours. However, it's important to remember that no sunscreen can provide complete protection, and it's still important to seek shade and avoid sun exposure during the mid-day hours when the sun's rays are the strongest.

By following these simple sun protection tips, you can enjoy the summer while keeping your skin healthy and protected. Don't forget that practicing safe sun habits is important all year round, not just during the summer months.

Nazanin Kalani Williams, MD

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