The country is basking in 90 to 100 degree temperatures and many of us are headed to the river, lake, or beach. Remember to bring plenty of water or sports drinks with you and drink these even if you are not thirsty.
Do you find yourself at the store staring at the sunscreen display trying to decide which brand to buy? The ideal sunscreen should protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause premature aging and may also lead to skin cancer, while UVB rays result in skin damaging sunburn.
Experts say the best protection against UVA [rays] is a sunscreen that includes zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone. Consumers should also look for those that are water-resistant and have an SPF of 30 or better, indicating strong protection against UVB rays. UVB protection is found in a sunscreen as the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). A sunscreen should be PABA-free” since these sunscreens can be irritating to the skin.
Sunscreens should be applied liberally and often. Apply enough sunscreen and then reapply it, especially after swimming and sweating. Apply at least an ounce per application 30 minutes before exposure and then reapply every two hours.
Even if you are wearing sunscreen, you should limit time in the sun between 10 am and 4 pm because the atmosphere absorbs less of the harmful UV rays of sunlight than earlier or later in the day. Sunscreen should also be worn when it is hazy.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing, and sunglasses. Finally, never leave children exposed to the sun without adequate protection.
The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Saturday, June 24, 2006