12 Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe in the Sun

by Guest Contributor

This guest post was submitted by Dr. Piasecki.

Summer is just right around the corner, and with it comes that beautiful sunshine we all know and love. However, if we are not careful, that sunshine can cause some serious sunburns and skin conditions. Here are my tips for having family fun, in the sun.

Family Sun Safety Tips

  • Use sunscreen frequently and liberally, even on cloudy or hazy days. The clouds and haze can sometimes burn you even more than the sun itself, so be cautious.
  • Makeup with SPF is no substitute for sunscreen- it’s about 14 times less effective and 1/3 of skin cancers occur above the neck, so be sure and use sunscreen with a larger SPF.
  • Do NOT go to a tanning machine to get a base tan, it radiates your skin in a harmful way.
  • Purchase a “broad spectrum” or “full spectrum” sunscreen.  This provides protection from every form of light.
  • No one agrees on a “good SPF number,” but a minimum of 30 is recommended by most.
  • Studies have shown that certain red foods- particularly tomatoes and apples, help reduce the risk of sunburn, so eat up before heading out in the sun.
  • Check the sunscreen expiration date. Its shelf life is shortened if exposed to high temperatures.  A good suggestion is to start fresh each summer.
  • Some ingredients to look for in sunscreen include avobenzone, cinoxate, ecamsule, oxybenzone, and sulisobenzone.
  • To increase clothing SPF, use laundry additives like Sun Guard.  One packet washes a skin-saving SPF 30 into every garment which lasts up to 20 washes.
  • Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts.  They also protect delicate skin around the eyes.
  • People often forget about their scalp. Be sure to mist your scalp and hairline with a spray sunscreen.
  • When sunburned, take anti inflammatory medication like Aspirin or Ibuprofen on a regular basis until the sunburn goes away.

There is no “best” sunscreen. The best one for you is the one you can afford, is convenient, comfortable and has the right SPF.  Don’t go out in the sun this summer without the proper clothing, sunscreen SPF, or the right information. Your family will be able to have more fun when protected from the elements.

About the author:

Dr. Piasecki graduated from Stanford with honors, Vanderbilt Medical School, completed a 5 year Plastic Surgery Residency at the University of Wisconsin, and a Mohs Surgery fellowship at the University of British Columbia, is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and has trained under some of the most respected dermapathologists in North America. He also directs the AAAHC accredited, Medicare Certified Operating Room and internationally acclaimed Skin Cancer Center. To find out more about Dr. Piasecki, visit his author video here.



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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tanya May 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I never new that certain foods help with the sun. Ill keep that in mind and snack on an apple before I do all the yard work I’m planning on doing this weekend.
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2 Ned May 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

i love apples and tomatoes.. never knew they protect against damage from sun too:)
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3 Lauren May 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I was just checking a whole stash of sunscreens underneath a bathroom sink, and couldn’t find the expiration dates! I want to make sure that the sunscreens that I use this year aren’t too old, since last summer I got a horrible rash — a rash that my doctor says could have been from sunscreen that was too old. The rash was all over where my skin had been exposed to the sun. It was horrible!
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4 Health and Fitness May 9, 2013 at 2:47 am

I like apple and potato.. Yummp
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