Once the summer sun is high in the sky, we give into the urge to throw open the windows and the curtains and dash outside to soak up the warm rays. This is especially true after a long, cold winter. Along with the summer days come more times when you will be spending days and nights out of doors at barbecues and other family summer-related events.
As parents and caregivers we continually admonish our children to “wear sunscreen” but as we get older we may not heed our own advice. As we age though we need to keep in mind that both age-related changes and certain medications can increase our risk for sunburns and damage from exposure to UV rays.
Here are some tips to care for your skin during these lazy, hazy days of summer:
- Start with an annual “skin inspection.” Ask your spouse or significant other to perform an inspection of your skin and check for any abnormal spots or suspicious moles. Your doctor can also perform this service so if you’re going to an appointment, ask him to do this for you. Knowing your “baseline” will letyou more easily know if there are any changes.
- Use sunscreen. Whether you’re sitting outside for a party or driving or riding in the car, sunscreen is a must. Apply it to the usual areas such as arms, neck and legs but also to areas you may not usually think about such as the tops of your feet and ears and your hands and the tip of your nose.
- Ask your pharmacist if any of your medications could lead to sun sensitivity such as making it “easier” to burn or develop a skin rash.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses. Even if you’re in the shade, sun still filters through and could burn the top of your head. If you don’t want to wear a hat, consider using an umbrella to protect yourself and your skin.
- Drink up. Staying hydrated by drinking water will help protect your skin and your organs. If you don’t really like the “taste” of water consider adding cucumber or lemons or limes to your water for a refreshing flavorful way to stay hydrated.
Don’t be afraid of the sun, just indulge your time in it wisely!