How to Protect Yourself from Too Much Sun Exposure

Sun Exposure and Sun Protection
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.  Even in the South Bay with a lifestyle that’s all about the outdoors, you can still enjoy the sun and be healthy. Here’s how to do it:

  • Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30  that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Protect children from sun exposure by applying sunscreen for them and re-applying every two hours.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don’t try to get vitamin D from the sun.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Use water resistant sunscreen if you will be perspiring, have oily skin, or will be doing water activities, reapply after toweling off.
  • Check your own body and skin often. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.