5 Commonly Overlooked Things to Check Before Stepping Out into The Sun
As the summer months beckon us to embrace the great outdoors, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement without fully considering the potential risks associated with sun exposure. While most of us are aware of the importance of sunscreen and protective clothing, there are several other crucial factors that often go overlooked when it comes to sun safety. In this article, we'll explore some of these often-neglected aspects and provide you with valuable insights to enjoy the summer sun while safeguarding your skin and health.
1. Sunglasses: Do your sunglasses provide 100% UV Protection?
While many of us reach for sunglasses to shield our eyes from the sun's glare, their role extends beyond aesthetics. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage the delicate tissues of the eyes, increasing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems. Choosing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection can help protect your eyes from these potential issues.
2. Lip Protection: Does your lip balm have SPF?
Our lips are often forgotten when it comes to sun protection. The skin on our lips is thinner and more sensitive, making them susceptible to sunburn and long-term damage. Applying lip balm with SPF is essential to prevent sunburn, dryness, and potential skin cancer on the lips.
3. Scalp and Hair Care: Are you covered?
Your scalp is just as vulnerable to UV radiation as the rest of your skin. Wearing a hat with a wide brim can provide protection for your scalp, ears, and neck. Additionally, if you have thinning hair or a part in your hair, applying sunscreen or using a spray with sun protection can prevent sunburn on the scalp.
4. Medications: Will the meds you are on cause photosensitivity?
Certain medications can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight, a condition known as photosensitivity. Common medications like antibiotics, antihistamines, and some topical treatments can heighten your risk of sunburn and skin reactions. Always consult your healthcare provider about potential photosensitivity and take extra precautions when using such medications.
5. Timing Matters: When can sun damage occur?
While midday is often considered the peak time for UV radiation, it's important to note that UV exposure can still occur earlier and later in the day. Sun safety should be a consideration from sunrise to sunset, especially in regions with strong sunlight.
American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2021). "How to Choose the Best Sunglasses: Six Things to Consider." https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/six-ways-to-protect-your-eyes-from-uv-rays
Skin Cancer Foundation. (2021). "Sun Safety Tips." https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sun-safety-tips/
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2021). "Sunscreen FAQs." https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection/sunscreen-patients/sunscreen-faqs
American Cancer Society. (2021). "Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection." https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection.html