Staying protected against too much sunshine

Local News

(WKBN) – With the weather getting warmer outside and summer just around the corner, more people are enjoying the sunshine.

Whether you are working in the yard, mowing the grass or just sitting out on the patio, you might want to think about how much sun you are getting.

Dr. Adam Cash with Mercy Health said people should protect their skin from harmful UVB rays whenever they are outside. 

“Skin cancer itself is the number one cancer diagnosed in the country, so it is a big problem,” Cash said.

He said applying sunscreen and taking other precautions should be a priority. 

“Sun protection, whether that’s physical blockade using hats, sunglasses, protective clothing is very important.”

When you go outside, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Cash said young people do not see it as a big deal, but long-term damage will take its toll.

“Skin cancers develop because of a lifetime risk of sun exposure, especially sunburns, so you got to put it on, you got to reapply it,” Cash said.

Also, try to avoid those peak hours of sunshine and heat if possible.

“Anywhere between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where the sun is at its highest and its most intense, especially when there’s no cloud cover. Just avoiding that day or taking shade, being under an umbrella, being under a pergola, but still enjoying the weather,” he said. 

When you go to the store to buy sunscreen, Cash said there are certain things to consider. 

“SPF 50 blocks 98% of the ultraviolet rays. SPF 100, about 98.5 to 99%, so there’s a very minimal difference in that. The name of the game, just get SPF 50, somewhere in that area and reapply it,” Cash said. 

Cash said if you find anything suspicious on your skin, make sure a doctor looks at it. They can take a biopsy to see if it is anything serious. 

Sun Safety Tips from The Skin Cancer Foundation:  

—  Apply one ounce of broad spectrum, SPF 30+ sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.  

— Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.  

— Seek the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

— Cover up with clothing, wide-brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses. 

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