Summer Sun Safety Tips for Seniors
Many have been in a situation where they have gotten too much sun and developed a bad sunburn. The Mayo Clinic describes a sunburn as a red, painful skin that feels hot to the touch. It usually appears within just a few hours after too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Repeated UV light exposure can increase the risk of skin damage, dark spots, rough spots, and dry/wrinkled skin. Like many other things in life, the risk factors increase as you age. Aging comes with delicate skin that is vulnerable to skin sensitivity/sun damage. Many medication can make your skin even more sensitive to UV which can lead to getting sunburnt quicker than most. As the temperature continues to rise, it’s important to have a plan in place to protect yourself from getting a bad sunburn. Here are some tips to help protect your skin from the strong UV rays this summer…
Before you go out in the sun, the first thing you should do is apply sunscreen. Applying sunscreen is one of the best methods to protect yourself from the sun. Be sure to find a quality sunscreen that will protect your specific skin type. Make sure to apply a sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 30. By using this SPF, it can protect you from 93 percent of the suns UV. Be sure to apply a thick layer of sunscreen to your skin and cover all areas. If you are swimming or sweating, be sure to reapply to ensure that you won’t be getting burnt.
Believe it or not, your eyes can get sunburnt just like the rest of your body if exposed to too much sun. Too much sun exposure can increase your risk for cataracts, eyelid cancer, and age-related macular degeneration. The sun reflects off of water and sand causing UV exposure. The Healthline says that your eyes are at the highest risk at the beach, lake, dock, boat, pool, and anywhere that the sun meets the water. In addition to the water, the sun can also reflect off of buildings, cars, ice, snow and concrete streets. Wearing sunglasses is a great way to protect your eyes from the harmful sun rays.
If your skin still feels exposed after applying sunscreen, you can take another route to protecting your skin. Instead of sitting out in the direct sunlight, you can find shaded areas to sit in. Wear clothes that protect most parts of your skin leaving minimal areas exposed to the sun. Remember to put sunscreen on the tops of your feet, shoulders, arms, legs, scalp, ears, and neck. Invest in a hat that shields your neck, face and scalp from the sun.
Sun exposure can be directly correlated to skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Exposure to sunlight during the colder months still puts you at risk for developing skin cancer as it would in the summertime. Anyone is at the risk of getting skin cancer but those who have fair skin are at a higher risk. Being aware of the UV is very important and can help you regulate how long you should be in the sun. The Cleveland Clinic breaks down the UV index as…
At the low stage, experts advise you to wear sunglasses if the sun is bright. Use sunscreen and protective clothing if you burn easily.
At the moderate stage, you should cover up and use sunscreen. Avoid direct sunlight at midday, when the sun is most powerful. Stay in the shade.
At the high stage, you should use all protections against sun damage (protective clothing, wearing a hat and sunglasses, using sunscreen). Limit time in the the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.
8-10: Very high
At the very high stage, you should be extra careful, using clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses. Avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. Your skin can burn quickly at this stage and will be injured.
11 or higher (11+): Extreme
At the extreme stage, you should use all methods of prevention. It will only take minutes of exposure to result in a burn. Do not go out in the sun from 10 am to 4 pm. Wear protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. At this stage and all others, remember that snow, sand, and water all increase UV exposure by reflecting the sun’s rays.
Protecting yourself from the sun is essential for people of all ages. Covering your skin, wearing sunscreen, and staying hydrated is important if you’re going to be spending more than a couple minutes outside. The American Cancer Society encourages seniors to wear shirts with sleeves, hats, sunscreen, and garments that cover exposed skin areas. Being in the shade and staying hydrated while outside can protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. If the temperatures are extremely warm, be sure to wear light fabrics that allow your skin to breathe.