If you ask anyone what their favorite season is, you’re bound to get a mix of responses. What’s more calming than sipping on your Pumpkin Spice Latte while taking an autumn stroll? What incites more nostalgia than sitting in a living room celebrating the winter holidays? And who can deny the beauty of watching the spring flowers bloom (except, you know… those of us with crippling allergies)? Yes, the seasons are a great debate, but few would disagree that summer has the most potential for fun.
 
During summer, it’s all about beaches, vacations, and barbecues – basically anything that involves the outdoors and LOTS of sunshine. That’s why the Department of Health and Human Services has made July UV Safety Month!
 
Sunshine does provide important health benefits, like Vitamin D. But too much sun exposure can be dangerous. Without taking proper precautions, the UV-A and UV-B rays emitted from the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes and skin. Overexposure can not only cause premature aging and sunburns, but it can also increase your risk for skin cancer.
 
Not to fret- there are precautions you and your patients can take to stay safe while still enjoying the outdoors. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tips below!
 
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
 
No matter how little sun you are getting in a day, sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. Today, many facial moisturizers include SPF, making it easier to protect your face’s delicate skin. If you know you will be spending prolonged periods outside, make sure to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. That will ensure it’s full effect. And don’t forget to reapply!
 
Don’t be afraid to accessorize
 
Show off your style! Use this as an excuse to try a new, chic, floppy hat (or stick with your favorite baseball cap, if that’s more your style). Break your favorite pair of sunglasses. Even try a summertime scarf! There are tons of different accessories to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
 
Take a break
 
The shade is your friend. If you plan to be outdoors for a long time, try to make sure there is shade available to you, whether it be a tree or an umbrella. Having a nice, shaded area will help to keep you cool and provides you with a good place to reapply sunscreen. Most importantly, it gives you a break from direct sunlight, so you minimize your risk for sun damage.