4 tips for a sun-safe summer

With the warmer weather approaching, it’s important to remember to be sun safe when outdoors enjoying your favourite activities. While it may not be summer yet, it doesn’t have to be warm to burn.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Canada. About one-third of all new cases of cancer in the country are skin cancer. It’s estimated that 9,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in 2022.

Being sun safe means taking steps to protect your skin from overexposure to UVA and UVB rays, or ultraviolet light from the sun, which is harmful, and over time can lead to serious conditions including skin cancer. Taking a few simple steps can help you avoid getting a burn and experiencing symptoms like red painful skin, blisters and peeling. The best way to avoid a sunburn is prevention. Be prepared by following the below tips:

Protect your skin
Wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen when out in the sun. Reapply every two hours, especially if you’re working out or swimming, as sweat or water can cause sunscreen to wear or wash off. Protect your lips with a board spectrum lip protectant (at least SPF 15). Wear loose fitting or breathable clothing to help cover areas of your skin which are more prone to burning. Remember to bring along your sunglasses and when purchasing new ones, make sure they have built in UVB protection as well.

Apply sunscreen generously
Don’t skimp on sunscreen! Slap on at least one ounce of sunscreen for each unprotected area exposed to the sun 15 minutes prior to going outdoors as it takes a little time to absorb to provide the best protection. Don’t forget vulnerable spots like ears, behind the knees and the tops of your feet. Apply before makeup and/or bug spray.

Find shade
This tip will allow you to enjoy the warmth and good weather without being in direct sunlight and exposing you to a burn. Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect your head and face and find tree coverage or bring along an umbrella just in case.

Avoid peak hours
The sun is at its hottest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. So, when making plans, try and avoid prolonged sun exposure during this time. Many people associate being sun safe and using sunscreen during the summer months, however, you should use it all year round. UVB rays can reflect off surfaces such as snow and ice, exposing you to UV light when you least expect it.

Taking the right precautions will help you have a pain-free (and burn-free) summer!

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