It’s summertime and we all know that means working out in the summer sun, laying on the beach or at the pool working on our tans or just getting more sun than usual, even on your lunch break. With that being said, it’s super important that you protect your skin during all seasons, but this one especially.
I got diagnosed with a form of skin cancer a couple of years ago, and had to have part of my skin near my fingernail removed. I can happily say they got it all, but I can not so happily say that my cuticle didn’t grow back quite right in that area, and I have to see my dermatologist every 6 months for a checkup at this point in perpetuity. Now, I have actually been pretty good about applying sunscreen before I go out to lay at the pool or at a day at the beach. But I wasn’t always, and I remember going out to the beach in high school and bragging that I didn’t burn, I just tanned and that I didn’t need sunscreen. Stupid, foolish high school me. Obviously, I’ve learned my lesson since then, and am working much harder at protecting my skin, but I see so many people still being really nonchalant about their skin health. Guys, I love the sun, but I also know it is super dangerous, so if protecting your skin isn’t your priority, hopefully these tips will help. Take it from me, having surgery to remove skin cancer, not fun.
- Cover your skin if you can when the rays are severe. That’s right, in this summer sun, a baseball cap or floppy hat is your hairline and face’s best friend. You know what else is great? Those UV repellent clothing options are great too. So are lightweight long sleeves, they’ll help keep your skin safe.
- Apply and reapply sunscreen. It’s not enough for you to apply it once and then be done with it for the rest of the day. You have to reapply, especially if you are sweating, which it’s summer, that usually comes with the season. This goes for your regular sunscreen as well as the sunscreen you put on your face each morning ladies. Reapply! You’ll thank me later.
- Avoid the worst times of day. In the middle of the day is when the rays are the absolute worst, so if you can, avoid going outside at that time. I used to schedule my beach days in the mornings, and then we’d be done around lunch time, which was perfect to get a smoothie or a sub and get some much-needed air conditioning.
- Wear sunscreen even if it’s cloudy. Did you know you can still get burned even in cloudy weather? The clouds don’t always block the sun’s harmful rays 100%, so make sure you apply that sunscreen even when it seems like you may not need it.
- Wear sunglasses. These will help protect the skin around your eyes, not to mention let you see in the sun. Wear them, love them, just don’t forget to clean them.
- Bring shade with you. There are these chairs that have little shades that pop up and if you like to frequent outdoor games or summer concerts, these are perfect for them, especially if you don’t have a covered seat! They’ll give you shade wherever you are, and are attached to the chair. I have a few of these myself, and they are fantastic.
Hopefully these tips will help you protect your skin and stay safe during this summer. The final piece of advice is to see a dermatologist. I promise, the visits are mostly painless, and it’s better to find something sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more likely it could turn into melanoma, and if it gets that far, you’ll have more than just some weird colored skin or a little section of it scraped off. Take care of yourself and your skin, and stay protected from the sun.