Some parts of Arizona get 300 sunny days every year, so it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about the sun and the problems it can cause. While a little sun is a great thing, it can quickly become too much and leave you with skin problems. Too much sun can damage your skin and leave you with sun damage that prematurely ages you. Sun exposure can cause discoloration and more serious problems, like skin cancer. 

Let’s look at how you can keep yourself safe from the sun’s harmful rays as the summer season approaches: 

  1. Wear Sunscreen: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, even on cloudy days. Apply it generously on your skin at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply it every two hours or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
  2. Seek Shade: Avoid direct sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun is strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Seek shade under trees, umbrellas, or wear protective clothing.

  3. Cover Up: Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats to reduce the amount of sun exposure on your skin.

  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially when spending time outdoors.

  5. Check Medications: Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays, so check with your doctor or pharmacist if any of your medications can have this effect.

  6. Avoid Tanning Beds: Tanning beds expose your skin to harmful UV rays, which can increase your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. Avoid them at all costs.

  7. Keep an Eye on Moles: Check your skin regularly for any new or changing moles. If you notice any changes or irregularities, consult a dermatologist immediately.

No matter how careful you are, it’s important to be diligent about the state of your skin. Watch for growths, changes in skin texture and color. This resource hub from the American Cancer Society has helpful information if you’re unsure what to look for. If you notice something suspicious, talk with your doctor as soon as possible. 

If you notice hyperpigmentation and general sun damage, that can be helped with aesthetic procedures. Peels, laser procedures and other services can reduce lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture and even out skin tone. Additionally, there are more intensive treatments that resurface and rejuvenate damaged skin.