August 13 2008 by Mark Deyer
The best part of this time of year is soaking up the last few weeks of summer. But as much as you may want to soak up the rays, one thing certain to put a damper on your vacation is a sunburn.
When everything that touches your skin makes you cringe and you suddenly resemble a gigantic tomato, that's when you know you've overdone it. Not only is it an unpleasant situation for you on your vacation, but the long-term effects of over exposure to the sun is an even bigger problem. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunburn is not the only consequence faced by lack of sun protection. Pre-mature aging, wrinkles, skin cancer, and eye disease, such as cataracts, the leading cause of blindness, are all directly related to over exposure.
Before you reach tomato status, make sure you are following these three main lines of defense.
- Try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the UVA and UVB rays are at their peak.
- Use protective clothing such as a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses, or even a long sleeved shirt. Darker colors are also more effective at blocking UV rays and you can even buy sport washes that can be added to regular clothing while in the washing machine to increase the ability of the clothing to block UV.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Dermatologists often recommend using at least an SPF 30 because people do not typically use enough. When you apply your sunscreen use a fairly large amount and put it on at least 30 minutes prior to being outdoors. It is also very important to reapply every two hours. The most important ingredients to look for in your sunscreen are: Parsol 1789 (Avobenzone), Helioplex, Mexoryl and micronized Zinc Oxide or micronized Titanium Dioxide.
If you do happen to get the dreaded vacation sunburn make sure to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, take a cool bath to soothe and relieve pain, put on lots of moisturizing lotion and stay out of the sun until the burn is gone.
You got all that!! It may seem like a lot to remember but if you are conscious of the harmful effects of the sun and you keep the three lines of defense in mind, you should be all set to enjoy the sun safely on your vacation.
Let us know your prevention tips and how to deal when you've been burnt.