When most people think about sun safety and protection, they only think about sunscreen. There are other steps you  should be taking to protect yourself from the sun.

These are some of the most important sun safety tips you need to keep in mind before stepping out into the harsh rays.

What type of clothing protects me from UV rays?

If you’re extremely sun sensitive and sunscreen never seems to protect you from a burn, you should look into protective sun clothing. While extra clothing in the summer may sound hot and miserable, protective clothing isn’t like that at all. Protective clothing includes various pieces of clothing you can purchase, shirts are the most commonly bought item, that offer ultraviolet protection from the sun’s rays. Different protective clothing will have a different UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating, so be sure to read the product info well before purchasing. Protective clothing features a loose fit, vented areas, and light material to give added protection without unnecessary sweating and heat!

How do I choose the right sunscreen?

The most basic form of sun protection is sunscreen, but how do you know which sunscreen to purchase? While brands and prices will vary, there’s a few key things to look for before making your pick.

  • Broad Spectrum – Check the label to make sure the sunscreen offers broad spectrum sun protection. This means that the sunscreen protects against UVB and UVA rays, so you can have peace of mind knowing none of the harmful UV’s will be hurting your skin.  
  • Check the SPF level – There are many different SPF protection levels to choose from based on your sun sensitivity, but be sure whatever you choose has an SPF protection level of at least 30. SPF 30 protects against 97% of the sun’s rays, anything lower than SPF 30 doesn’t offer adequate protection.
  • Is it water resistant? – If you’re going to be wearing your sunscreen on the beach or at the pool, be sure to grab one that says it is water resistant. Remember, water resistant doesn’t mean waterproof, so you still need to reapply your sunscreen regularly to get continued protection.

How do I treat a sunburn?

While sun protection is the best method of protecting your skin, it’s also important to know how to take care of a sunburn when it happens. These are the steps you should take to heal your sunburn.

  • Cool Showers – Take cool showers or baths regularly to draw some of the pain and heat out of your burn. This is a method that offers instant relief from the pain.
  • Moisturize and use aloe – Find a moisturizer that contains aloe to treat the skin. Apply regularly throughout the day until the burn resolves.
  • Hydrate – Sunburns pull the moisture out of your skin and the rest of your body. You’ll need to drink more water than usual while your burn heals.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory – To reduce swelling and promote healing, take an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. This will offer some pain relief too.

How can I avoid dehydration?

The harsh summer sun takes a toll on your skin, but it also takes a toll on your whole body. Considering 70% of human bodies are made up of water, staying hydrated it very important. In the sun you should be sure to drink plenty of water or sports drinks to replenish electrolytes. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages and processed drinks like soda.

Sun protection should be at the top of your priority list this summer. Remember, failing to protect our bodies from the sun can lead to cancer and other complications. If you suffer from severe sun burns or dehydration be sure to go to your doctor right away for proper treatment.

If you are feeling symptoms of dehydration, or your sunburn hasn’t subsided in a few days, visit AFC Urgent Care Stamford and we’ll have you in and out and back to enjoying the warm weather!