Heading to Alabama beaches? Be sure to pack some protection, including a hat, sunglasses and, of course, sunscreen.
It takes as little as 15 minutes in the sun for ultraviolet rays to damage your skin. Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet A and B rays can be dangerous. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the country, according to the American Cancer Society. Sunburns can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Experts recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. It should be applied generously, and reapplied every two hours and after swimming. Don’t forget the lip balm, too.
In addition to using sunscreen, reduce your risk of damage by toting an umbrella or small tent to the beach.
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants also provide protection. Some fabrics on rash guards and swim shirts provide a UPF rating of 50 plus, offering better protection than a plain T-shirt.
Another tip is to limit sun exposure when sun rays are most intense – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pay attention to the UV index. The sun is particularly damaging on days when the UV index is 10 or higher.
Be aware that some medications, supplements and essential oils make you more sensitive to the sun, so check those prescriptions for side effects.
No one wants to spend their vacation with a painful sunburn, so take a few minutes to slather on the sunscreen, grab the shades and pull on a cap before hitting the beach.