Being in the sun is natural for humans. Modern life has complicated things a bit—to the point that some people need to simulate being in the sun by lying in tanning beds—but spending some time in natural sunlight is important. When the sun’s UV-B rays hit your skin, a reaction takes place that causes your skin cells to produce vitamin D. This essential vitamin is needed so your body can absorb calcium, which leads to strong bones.
Vitamin D deficiency not only puts bones at risk, but has also been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers, along with heart disease, depression, and even weight gain. Obviously, it’s important to spend some time in the sun, but you also need to know how to protect your skin from the sun as well.
Whereas sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D—and we’ve just seen how important that is for you—there’s also well-known risks from spending too much time in the sun, including skin damage and increased risk of melanoma (skin cancer). Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to protect your skin:
- Wear sunscreen. This is the first thing that comes to mind when people think about protection from harmful sun rays. Make sure you wear sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15.
- Cover with clothing. We know it gets hot down in Miami, but it is still a smart idea to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants—instead of tank tops and shorts—as much as possible. Since heat is a factor, you should definitely opt for clothing made from light blends. In addition to covering your body, find a stylish broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses for optimal protection.
- Make sure shade is nearby. When you go to the beach, there isn’t much refuge from the sun – unless you bring along a large umbrella. By doing this, you can spend some time catching a couple of rays, and then retreat to the protection offered by the shade. Remember, the sun is at its peak strength between 10 am and 4 pm, and these are the best times to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Taking measures to protect your skin is a great starting point, but there is always the possibility you may need treatment to address sun damage. Fortunately, you can always come see us for a consultation. We will determine which of our treatment options are best for you, and then create a plan to restore your skin back to health.
For more information, or to request an appointment, simply give our Lauderdale Lakes office a call at (954) 380-8411 or fill out our online form. One of our staff members will be glad to answer any questions or assist you in scheduling your visit with us!