Summer has arrived! It is an open invitation to enjoy the Sun and all the fun it offers. Before you hit the park or the beach, remember these vital sun safety tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water is the #1 choice, but also remember those that replace electrolytes lost when exercising and sweating. Try a 50:50 mixture of Gator Aid and water, coconut water, or 1/2 a squeezed lemon into 8 oz. of water. Popsicles are a tasty alternative. Rule of thumb – once you are thirsty, your water supply is low. Hydrate often, especially when sweating excessively.
- Apply sunscreen. Everyone, including African Americans, needs sunscreen as protection from the UV rays, and prevention of skin cancer. Damaging UV rays can penetrate all types of skin, regardless of ethnicity. Use a sunscreen that contains SPF30 or more. Reapply every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
According to the National Cancer Institute, one million people are diagnosed with skin cancer annually. Over 60% with dark skin tones don’t apply sunscreen because they feel it is not needed. Sadly, this increases their risk of developing melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer.
Skin cancer can look different on different skin types. Often doctors don’t consider skin cancer when treating people of color. Common sites for skin cancer in people of color include the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and underneath fingernails and toenails.
See a dermatologist when you notice new moles, a sore that will not heal, or other skin changes.
- Shine On! Sunshine increases vitamin D3 and boosts serotonin levels to combat depression and supports a healthy immune system.
- Remember your sunglasses!