Healthwatch: Protecting Yourself From the Sun

JACKSON, Tenn. — Those summer days are getting closer, which is good news for getting out and having some fun, but the sun’s high UV rays can be harmful to your skin. Carrie Knox, the community outreach coordinator with the Kirkland Cancer Center, urges caution with the summer season approaching. “The days are getting longer [and] you have a reason to be out in the sun,” Knox said. “It’s beautiful days and a reason to get out in the sun – usually have your exposure to the sun. Girls and young women and even men are tanning in the tanning beds, which is also not the best thing for you.” Wearing proper sunscreen when out in the sun is very important for the prevention of skin cancer. “Time and time again you get sunburn four or five times that season, it really sets you up for starting some skin problems and it prematurely ages you as well,” Knox said. If an abnormal spot or rash does develop on your skin, it’s always best to play it safe. “If you do find something that concerns you, go to your dermatologist and check it out.” When protecting your skin from the sun, make sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or higher. Also, no sunscreens are fully waterproof or sweat proof. It’s important to reapply as directed on the product.