Friday

Protect Your Skin in the Sun

Especially in the winter months, people love flying off to a far away resorts that are exotic and sunny. If you’re indulging in a tropical or beach vacation, the biggest threat to your health is going to be the sun. To prevent burns and reduce your risk of skin cancer, follow these steps to protect your skin.


Cover Up

During a tropical vacation it’s very important to cover up - and not just with sunscreen. Limit your exposure to the sun by wearing extra clothing, such as a sarong or wrap.  If you can stand it, lightweight long sleeves and long pants will provide the most protection. If you stay out by the pool or beach for long periods of time, covering up is essential. At the very least, place your towel overtop different parts of your body throughout the day.

Accessorize

Sunglasses are the most important accessory you can bring during your tropical vacation. Make sure that the sunglasses you purchase specifically state that they block UV rays, because not all sunglasses do. And the bigger the better - large sunglasses aren’t just trendy, they help protect more of the skin surrounding your eyes. A wide-brimmed hat can protect your head, face, and ears. At the very least, wear a visor to limit your face’s exposure to the sun.

Be Sunscreen Smart

If you do nothing else to protect yourself from the sun - wear sunscreen. Sunscreen should be “broad spectrum,” which means it blocks all the harmful types of UVA and UVB rays. You should use a waterproof sunscreen of SPF 30 or 45. Apply generously all over your body, and reapply at least every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, even if the directions suggest otherwise.

Watch Reflections

The surfaces of the water and sand can actually reflect the sun’s rays, intensifying them. When you’re on the beach, it’s best for you to seek shade underneath a large umbrella. The sun is least intense during the early morning and late evening, so keep that in mind when planning your day. Also beware of shiny surfaces that can reflect sunlight.

Be Consistent

Here is the number one thing people on tropical vacations need to remember: You must protect yourself from the sun at all times, not just when you’re on the beach or at the pool. If you’re sightseeing, taking a tour, or doing anything that will cause you to be outside even for just short periods of time, you need to wear sunscreen and protective clothing and accessories. Neglecting to do this can cause a lot of damage to your skin and intensify any sunburn you have.

Treat Burns

If you do get sunburn while on a tropical vacation, you need to be very cautious about how you proceed. Generously apply Aloe Vera lotion to your sunburn several times per day, as often as you can. If burns are very bad, also apply antibacterial ointment. Once you’re burned, stay out of the sun, or your condition will worsen. At least completely cover the burned areas whenever you’re in the sun for the remainder of your vacation. Drink plenty of water to help heal yourself.

Alexander Sirko is a dad and world traveler. When he is not on the road he runs his own small business.

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