The ‘Need-to-knows’ About Excessive Sun Exposure MD Monthly March 22, 2017 Uncategorized By Kristy Aleman Halcyon Med Spa & Wellness Center Did You Know? Sunburn happens when your skin is burned by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV light can go through clouds. That means you can get a sunburn, even on a cloudy day. Within a year, sunburn affects more than 70% of children and 30% of adults. Even though most sunburns are not severe, frequent sunburns significantly increase your risk of developing wrinkles, skin cancer, cataracts, and other cosmetic concerns. People with fair skin and light colored hair often can develop a sunburn in less than 15 minutes. Sunscreen can expire! If it doesn’t have an expiration date, then don’t keep it for more than 3 years. UV light can go through clouds. That means you can get a sunburn, even on a cloudy day. What Can I Do To Prevent a Sunburn? Wear sunscreen. It protects the skin by absorbing or reflecting UV light. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is how much protection the sunscreen offers against UVB (sunburn) rays. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreen because it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Use at least a sunscreen with SPF greater than 30. Remember, if you have fair skin or know you will be in the sun for a long time, the greater the SPF the better! Apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside and reapply around every 2-3 hours. Don’t forget about your lips! Protect them with lip balm of SPF 30 or more and don’t forget to reapply just like your sunscreen. Try to stay out of the sun between 10am-4pm, when UV rays are strongest. Look for shade. Trees, tents, and umbrellas help to block some of the UV rays. In Texas, the bigger, the better. So in the Texas sun, the bigger the hat the better! It will protect your face, neck, and ears. Same goes for sunglasses, but make sure your sunglasses have UV protection. Cover up! Some clothes are sun-protective with SPF. What If I Get A Sunburn? It can take 3-5 hours after being out in the sun before the redness appears. Then, the burn will worsen after 12-24 hours. You can treat a mild sunburn on your own by taking a pain-relieving medicine (like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen). Use a cool soak or compress, or a lotion containing aloe vera. Stay out of the sun until the redness and pain goes away. Have fun outside, but be kind to your skin. Always protect against the sun! For more information visit halcyonmedspa.com or call 361-452-2637. Halcyon Med Spa and Wellness Center is located at 1752 Santa Fe Street Corpus Christi, TX 78404.