Being smart about your sun protection is sometimes the difference between getting burned or not. Here are the key ways to protect and care for your summer skin.

  1. Smart prevention. The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA) recommends everyone use a sunscreen to prevent sun damage, premature aging, skin cancer and sunburn. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day says the best way to select a sunscreen is to look for the key words broad spectrum, UVA, and UVB protection.
  2. Effective application. Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the amount of sunscreen they should, according to the ADA. Dermatologists say the amount you need is roughly one-ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass, of course this could vary depending on your body size.

Dr. Day advises applying a quarter-sized amount of sunscreen evenly across all areas of your face, ears and neck. “People don’t put on enough,” she says. They cover the center of the face, but not the periphery. So you see burns on the sides of the face, along the hairline, and that’s actually where you end up seeing a lot of skin cancer.”

  1. Be sun smart, says Dr. Day. Prevent burning by knowing how to get sun in the right way. For optimum protection avoid mid-day sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., wearing a hat and sunglasses, and seeking shade when you can. Also, reapplying sunscreen every two hours is key, and as you probably know, you need to apply more frequently if you swim or sweat if off.
  2. If you get burned, steer clear of the sun. Sounds pretty obvious, right? But also avoid putting ice on your burn, as it can worsen it. Instead, take a cold shower, and if needed take an oral anti-inflammatory or pain reliever (depending on your tolerance) like Motrin or aspirin. For topical pain treatment, she suggests an over-the-counter cortisone cream. Aloe is also soothing and healing for burns.

Have a safe, fun and happy SUMMER!

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