Festival season is officially here with the arrival of events such as Coachella and Jazz Fest taking place across the U.S. As you spend your weekends dancing under the sun, it’s important to remember to protect your skin from too much sun exposure. Remember to keep these tips from Ochsner Dermatologist Lauren Ploch in mind to help protect your skin at outdoor festivals.
Facts to consider about sun exposure and skin cancer:
- Having as few as 5 sunburns in your lifetime doubles your risk of melanoma.
- Melanoma is responsible for most skin cancer-related deaths; one American dies of melanoma every hour.
- Skin cancer affects any area of the body, but is more common on sun-exposed locations, such as the face, ears and hands.
- A “base tan” does not protect you from sunburn or sun damage, but actually increases your risk of skin cancer.
- Eyes are susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun; cataracts can be caused by sun exposure.
- Three of the most common mistakes people make when using sunscreen are:
- Not applying enough sunscreen
- Not reapplying sunscreen
- Avoiding exposed, but sensitive areas, such as the lips or ears.
Tips to protect your skin and avoid sunburn:
- Choose a sunscreen that offers the following:
- Broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB protection)
- SPF 30 or greater
- Water resistance
- Seek shade! The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before swimming; make sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors.
- Use protective barriers, such as sun-protective clothing and wide-brim hats. Long-sleeve fishing shirts, rash guards and pants are great options for long, sun-filled days.
- Wear sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection.
- Remember, clouds and water DO NOT protect against the sun’s rays. Clouds only block up to 20% of UV rays. UV effects are magnified when reflected off of snow, sand and water.
Dr. Ploch’s sunblock picks to protect yourself this summer:
- Elta MD UV Pure SPF 47
- Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby SPF 60
- Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin SPF 30
- Vanicream Lip Protectant SPF 30
For more information about sun safety, click here.