This summer, while you enjoy the pool and outdoor fun with your family, it’s important to take a few minutes to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.
Who is at risk of skin cancer from sun exposure?
While everyone’s skin can be damaged by the sun, some people are more sensitive to it’s effects and have a higher risk for skin cancer:
- A history of sunburns.
- Exposure to the sun through work and play.
- A lighter natural skin color.
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
- Blue or green eyes.
- Naturally blond or red hair.
- A personal history of skin cancer.
- A family history of melanoma.
Remember too that small children and babies have more sensitive skin and should be shielded from the sun whenever possible.
How can you protect yourself and your children from the sun?
- Stay in the shade when possible, especially during the midday hours when the sun is at its strongest.
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear hats with brims to shield your face, ears and neck
- Wear sunglasses. Choose styles that wrap around your the sides of your face for maximum protection. Also look for labels that promise protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
How can you get the most protection from sunscreen?
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside.
- Don’t spread it too thin. Apply liberally and smooth it into your skin for maximum protection.
- Choose a sunscreen brand that offers UVA and UVB protection or says “full spectrum” on the bottle.
- Choose the right SPF. SPF 15 is recommended for day to day protection and SPF 30 for prolonged sun exposure. Children should use a higher SPF (SPF35 or more). If you have very sensitive skin, a history of skin cancer, or are taking medication, dermatologists recommend using SPF 50.
- Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time, so discard bottles after 1-2 years.
- Reapply every two hours, or after getting wet or sweating heavily.
- If using bug spray, apply sunscreen first and then the repellent.
Damage from the sun can occur in as little as 15 minutes.
It takes 12 hours for the effects of the sun to be noticeable on the skin. So don’t wait until you think you’re burning to apply sunscreen!
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Aqua Pool Co. is the largest pool and spa supply store on the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast! Our Gulfport showroom features 12 above ground pools, hot tubs, and spas and our selection of pool and spa chemicals is second to none. We also offer pool equipment, free water testing and water chemistry consulting to ensure your pool, spa and/or hot tub is safe. Check out our vast selection pool toys and games, so the fun never stops. Don’t let our large pool store fool you! Aqua Pool Co. is family-owned and operated, and every member of our staff is here to serve you with the personal customer service you deserve. Give us a call at (228) 832-9909 or come by and see us at 11296 Lorraine Rd., Gulfport, MS 39503 today!