UV safety

Man's sun burn face popping out of swimming tube.

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Sitting in the warm sun can be great for your mental health and your daily dose of vitamin D. But too much sun exposure can pose a big problem. Before you get some rays, plan ahead so your fun in the sun doesn’t end with a painful sunburn.

•  Find shade: You don’t want to be in direct sunlight for too long. Find a shady area or an umbrella to sit under for some respite from the sun.

•  Wear clothing: The right clothes can help reduce sun damage. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics that cover your arms, legs, chest and back. Find a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and neck and buy sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Choose clothes with built-in UV protection, as well.

•  Rub in sunscreen: Wearing sunscreen is a habit you should practice year-round. Make sure you choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 - SPF 30 is a better choice. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.

 

How to soothe a sunburn

It’s fun to play in the sun. But what do you do when the sun bites back? First things first, get out of the sun! Cover up your skin if you’re outside and find a cool, dark place. Then, get to work helping your skin recover.

1.  Take a cool bath or shower to cool down your skin. Avoid using harsh soaps or body washes, as these could make your skin dry out even more.

2.  Apply a moisturizer or aloe vera to the burn. This helps to trap moisture in your skin, which can help with healing. Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, promotes circulation and may help stop bacteria from growing.

3.  Drink water. Your body fights a sunburn by drawing water to the surface of your skin. This could lead to dehydration, so be sure to replenish your fluids often.

4.  Take extra care. After a sunburn, it is very important that you stay out of the sun for the next few days so your skin can heal. Wear loose clothing and avoid any itchy fabrics.

5.  See a doctor if… you get severe blistering, develop a fever and chills, or see signs of infection, such as oozing pus or red streaks.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.

 

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