As the school year ends, you and your family will have ample opportunity to have some fun in the sun. Despite high temperatures, summer is one of the best times of the year! The days are longer, the sun is hotter, and most importantly, there is no schoolwork to turn in! Do you plan to cool off by the beach, go camping, or visit a theme park this year? Whichever way you choose to make memories this summer, don’t forget to splash into your Health on the South Rx pharmacy. Our summertime section includes quality products to keep you and your family safe this summer.
Staying Safe in the Summer Sun
While we rely on the sun’s rays for warmth, extensive sun exposure can cause harmful skin damage. Sunlight is a type of ultraviolet light, also referred to as UV. 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%.
Understanding UV rays is integral to your health this summer.
Just like the earth, your skin also absorbs these harmful rays. Most times, this manifests as a tan or a sunburn. Excess exposure to UVA & UVB rays can cause:
All skin types are at risk for damage from UV rays and the sun. 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 – soothes sunburns.
Hats & Sunglasses – protect your head and face from sun exposure.
Sunscreen – helps block UV rays from the sun, protecting you from harmful rays.
Proper Sunscreen Usage
As you look at bottles of sunscreen at your Health on the South Rx pharmacy, you’ll always see SPF will on the label of each bottle. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF measures how well the product will protect your skin against intense UV rays. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreens with an SPF 30 rating. 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.
Level of protection from UVB Rays
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 Health on South Rx pharmacy.
Essential Factors to Keep in Mind When Applying Sunscreen
It's always best to reapply sunscreen regularly. Water from swimming and sweating can affect your sunscreen layer, requiring multiple daily uses. You should reapply every two to three hours, even with water-resistant sunscreen products.
Apply sunscreen to the face, neck, arms, legs, and lips. Many companies even offer lip balms with sunscreen in them for complete protection.
It is critical that you check for expiration dates. Topical products do lose efficacy over time. Our pharmacy staff can help you find the expiration dates on each of our products. We are always happy to help you protect your skin this summer!
Sun Safety Beyond the Beach
It’s important to pack sunscreen for all of your outdoor activities this summer. While many people know it's important to use sunscreen for long exposure, there are other times it is critical to apply sunscreen:
Attending an outdoor wedding
Visiting a water park
With regular sunscreen use and reapplication, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated, seek shade when possible, and take periodic breaks. Our Health South on Rx pharmacy team wants to ensure you enjoy your time outdoors with your friends and family. Be sure to see us before your next outdoor activity to avoid sunburns and skin damage this summer!