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Keeping Safe and Fun in the Summer Sun!

School’s out, and it is time to plan for fun in the sun with your friends, family, and loved ones! Where will your family go and play this season? Despite what a famous song says, summer IS the most wonderful time of the year. The days are longer, the sun is hotter, and most importantly, you can soak up the summer sun! Do you plan to go camping, cool off by the beach, or visit a waterpark this year? Whichever way you choose to make memories this summer, don’t forget to splash into your TLC Medical Arts Pharmacy. Our summertime section includes items to keep your summer plans sailing smoothly and safely.


Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

While we rely on the sun’s rays for warmth and light, too much sun can cause damage to the skin. If the skin is damaged by the sun, it can be very painful. Sunlight is a type of ultraviolet light; that’s where the acronym UV comes from when referring to the sun. UV rays that reach the earth’s surface are either UVA or UVB:

  • UVA rays make up 95% of the rays that reach the earth.

  • UVB rays make up the remaining 5%.

Why is knowing about these types of rays important?


The earth isn’t the only thing absorbing these rays; your skin also does. Most times, this manifests as a tan or a sunburn. Excess exposure to UVA & UVB rays can cause:

  • Skin damage

  • Skin cancers

  • Skin blisters

All skin types are at risk for sun exposure issues. The Fitzpatrick Scale, shown below, is a classification system for skin types and their reaction to UV rays.


Many products help your skin before and after a summer day outside, including:

  • Aloe vera gel – which helps soothe sunburns.

  • Hats & Sunglasses – protect your head and face from the sun.

  • Sunscreen – helps filter UV rays from the sun to protect your skin from damage.


Proper Sunscreen Usage

As you look at bottles of sunscreen at your TLC Medical Arts Pharmacy, the letters SPF will always be seen on the label. SPF is the abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor. SPF measures how well the product will protect your skin against the sun. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher. While there may be sunscreens with various levels of SPF, some as high as 70, it’s good to know the levels of protection offered by each SPF number. Before buying your next sunscreen, understand which SPF level is best for you!

SPF level

Level of protection from UVB Rays

SPF 15

93%

SPF 30

97%

SPF 50

98%

SPF 100

98.3%

The chart above shows that an increase in SPF level above 30 does not equal significantly more sun protection. This information is helpful to keep in mind when you’re purchasing sunscreen at your TLC Medical Arts Pharmacy.



Essential Factors to Keep in Mind When Applying Sunscreen

  • Make sure to apply sunscreen multiple times. Water from swimming and sweating can affect your sunscreen layer. Reapply every two to three hours. This applies to sunscreens that claim to be water-resistant as well.

  • Sunscreen is to be applied to the face, neck, arms, legs, and lips too! Many companies now make lip balms with sunscreen in them.

  • Check your product expiration dates. Topical products do lose efficacy over time, which can allow sun rays to penetrate the sunscreen and damage your skin. Have our pharmacy staff show you if you’re unsure how to locate the expiration date. We are more than happy to help!


Sun Safety Beyond the Beach

Sunscreen should be packed anytime you expect to be outside. Many usually think sun protection is necessary for beach days. Here are other times when sunscreens should be used:

  • Driving

  • Attending an outdoor wedding

  • Camping

  • Visiting a water park

  • Fishing

  • Yardwork

  • Exercising outside

Along with using sunscreens, any time you expect sun exposure, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated, seek shade when possible, and take periodic breaks. Our team at TLC Medical Arts Pharmacy wants to make sure you enjoy your time in the sun. Be sure to see us before your next outdoor event to ensure you don’t have to feel the burn this summer! We are here to help.


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