Hey kids! It’s Jon Smith here. Last week I went to the dermatologist to look at a thing on my nose. I thought it was a zit, but! It wasn’t.
It was ACTUALLY a Squeamacell Carcinoma. Which is REALLY fun to say out loud. It’s a mild and very common type of skin cancer. (Not fun to say out loud). Even though it’s common, treatable, and relatively harmless. It’s something that still caught my attention. Growing up, I never wore sunscreen. Ever. As an adult, I just deal with a sunburn and let it fade into a killer tan.
But the fact is, I spend a LOT of time outside. I never really noticed how much sun my face gets until now. Thinking back on all the concerts at the fairpark, my summers at Lake Powell, skateboarding in The Family Center parking lot… Even in my 40’s working in the yard, and going to Disneyland. But as my Dr. has now informed me, I am now “Mr. Sunscreen”! My first act in that role is to be that annoying guy that always tells you to wear sunblock. But just in case the SPF50 isn’t around
Here are five tips to avoid a sunburn without using sunscreens:
1. Cover up
Protective clothing including long sleeves, hats and pants shield your skin from UV rays and reduce your risk by 27 percent. Look for swimwear that includes long-sleeved rash guards with fabric that offers additional UV protection.
2. Avoid intense sun
Plan outdoor activity in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense.
3. Seek the shade
When outdoors find or create your own a shady spot with an umbrella or canopy. It’s especially important to keep infants shaded from direct sun.
4. Wear sunglasses
Protect your eyes from long-term damage from UV rays by wearing sunglasses each time you’re outdoors in the sun. This one I do, though it’s just to look cool. I don’t wear them at night though. Sorry, Corey Hart.
5. Know the UV Index
Check the UV index as part of your planning for outdoor activities to avoid overexposure to the sun.
So there you go! The sun is a giant ball of fire. Which like any ball of fire, you should try to protect yourself from whenever possible. Have a fun summer!