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Sun safety tips

Did you know that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes? In addition to sunburn, too much sun exposure can cause signs of premature aging and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Below we share tips on how to protect your skin from the sun.

Wear sunscreen every day

Sunscreen helps prevent the sun’s UV rays from reaching your skin, which can help prevent sun damage. It’s important to wear sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather, since UV rays can reach the earth on cloudy days as well as sunny ones.

Here are more sunscreen tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t wait until you’re outdoors to apply sunscreen. Applying sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure gives the ingredients time to bind to your skin before you head outside.
  • Apply sunscreen early and often. Since sunscreen can lose effectiveness after a while, reapply sunblock after swimming or about every two hours if you’re outdoors.
  • Read sunscreen labels. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that help protect skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher are recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
  • Avoid using expired sunscreen. Sunscreen effectiveness can’t be guaranteed past the expiration date. If you don’t see an expiration date, toss any unused sunscreen after three years.

More sun safety tips for your skin

While wearing sunscreen is one of the most important ways to protect your skin from UV rays, it should be considered just one part of your overall skin protection plan. Consider these additional sun damage prevention guidelines to help protect your skin from the sun:

  • Protect your skin from the sun in cars by wearing sunscreen and a hat, and closing sunroofs. Consider treating your car windows with a transparent film that can block nearly 100% of UV rays without reducing visibility.
  • Be extra vigilant about sun care if you spend a lot of time outdoors, whether you’re enjoying leisure activities, doing yardwork or working outside for your job.
  • Check your local UV index before you head outdoors. The higher the UV index number, the more protection you need from sun exposure.
  • Take extra caution near reflective surfaces, such as water and sand, which can increase your risk of sunburn.
  • Cover up. Wear a hat, sunglasses and light-weight, long sleeve shirts for extra sun protection. You can even buy sun protective clothing, which contains additional UV protection.
  • Know your skin cancer risk factors. Some people are more susceptible to sunburn than others. This includes people with fair skin or light-colored hair, as well as those who have been treated for skin cancer or have a family member who has had skin cancer.
  • Conduct skin self-exams. Make it a habit to check your skin from head to toe every month and contact your doctor if you notice any changes, like new or growing discoloration. Consider visiting a dermatologist annually for a skin check.

Keep in mind that you can use your CareCredit credit card for sun care products and dermatologic visits to help keep your skin healthy. Did you know that the CareCredit credit card is accepted at hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and health-focused retailers nationwide? Use our Acceptance Locator or CareCredit Mobile App to find a nearby provider or retailer that accepts the CareCredit credit card.

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