Protect your skin April showers, bring May flowers. And also bring skin damage if you’re outside enjoying the wonderful spring weather when it’s not raining. As spring arrives, outdoor activities spike in Colorado. With the wonderful spring weather, it’s important to remember to keep your skin protected. You may often fall to the allure of getting a little more sun than you received all winter. But it’s always very important to make sure you have applied your sunscreen prior to getting sun. Do you understand SPF? Sun Protection Factor, otherwise known as SPF refers to the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. In theory, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection. A product with an SPF of 15 will filter out approximately 93 percent of UVB rays; SPF 30 filters out about 97 percent. It is always recommended that you start with an SPF of 30 but other factors such as skin tone, history of skin cancer, and more can affect how your skin will react in the sun. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind the following tips. Select Sunscreen with UVA and UVB. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB. Look for products containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they protect against the full spectrum of rays and keep you covered more than other sunscreens. Lotion Up Often Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. And more often if you swim or exercise. Water, sweat, and clothing can remove sunscreen from your skin. Apply liberally and often. Consider Sun-Protective Clothing Choose clothing that covers you up before going into the sun. Dark cothing can block nearly all UV radiation and tightly woven fabrics are more protective than looser weaves. If you’re wondering how well your clothing will protect you, just hold it up to the sun. If you can see light passing through it, UV rays can get through, too. Check your skin regularly Keep an eye on your skin even when you’re not in the sun. Look for new moles or changes in older ones. If you have concerns, report them to your primary care provider or dermatologist. Your doctor can take a look, and, if needed, refer you to a specialist. Still have questions about sunblock and skin damage? Talk to your doctor and have them screen you for any possible signs of skin damage.
Memorial Day is a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy the company of friends and family. It’s also a great time to take a road trip or get into the mountains. Whatever your plans are for this memorial day, make sure you’re safe and healthy. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your holiday weekend. Grilling Tips Make sure your food is completely cooked! According to the Center for Disease Control and Protection, approximately 48 million people get food poisoning per year. To avoid getting sick from your grill, use a meat thermometer and make sure any meat you grill is completely cooked. Raw meat can ruin your weekend. Additionally, grills themselves can be dangerous, especially with younger children around. Adults should keep a kid free area of three feet around the grill. Also make sure your grill is clean to avoid flame flare ups and fires while cooking. Travel Memorial Day weekend generally means there are extra cars on the road as people are taking road trips. More cars on the roads is a sure bet that there will be more traffic accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 382 fatalities and 40,900 injuries are expected to occur over the holiday weekend. Drivers should take extra precautions when on the road this Memorial Day weekend. Sun Exposure and Insects It’s likely that many will be spending time outside this weekend. Make sure to cover up to avoid sunburns as well as insect bites. While insects may just be a nuisance to some, they're much more dangerous to others. For those allergic to insect stings, health officials recommend you carry an EpiPen on you in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Also be on the lookout for ticks if you’re planning to go hiking or be out on the trails. Tick season is here. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!