6 Tips to Safely Enjoy the Summer Sun

Sun Safety

Now that the tri-state area is officially in the summer months, many of us spend a lot more time outdoors. Being outdoors offers a variety of great ways to be active, reduce stress and soak up some Vitamin D. However, it is important to remember you can enjoy the sunshine without increasing your risk of skin cancer through overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays, by practicing sun safety.

“Sun exposure is important for Vitamin D production, which allows your body to absorb calcium for healthy bones. However, extended periods in the sun may cause sunburn as well as eye, skin and immune system damage, even cancer, which is why measures should be taken to prevent overexposure to sunlight so you can safely enjoy your time outside,” Trishala Meghal, MD, Hematologist and Oncologist.

Sun Safety Tips

Following these simple tips will help you enjoy your time outdoors safely:

  • Seek shade: Limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
  • Cover up: When you're outdoors, wear clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Protect skin: Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or greater and reapply at least every 2 hours, including after swimming or sweating.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps: Both can cause serious long-term skin damage and may contribute to skin cancer.
  • Prevent burns: Keep infants out of direct sunlight to prevent sunburn.
  • Medication sensitivity: Be aware of the impact any medications you are taking will have on your skin when exposed to extended periods of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Sun-sensitizing drugs have the potential to cause reactions or aggravate some existing skin conditions, such as eczema. Check with your provider or pharmacist if you have any questions.

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To make an in-person or telehealth appointment with one of our RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group primary care providers, please visit our physician locator to find a provider near you. You may also call your provider's office directly or call 1-888-724-7123.