Of course total avoidance of the sun would be ideal; however, it is a good source of natural Vitamin D, and should be taken in moderation. Avoiding the painful peril of sunburn is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer. Simple, easy ways to do this are:
- Limit sun exposure – avoid 10AM to 4PM, spend less than one hour in direct sun - less if burn easily, prone to skin cancer.
- Wear protective clothing – wide brim hats, long sleeves, long pants, skirts and/ or clothes made with sun protection fabric.
- Umbrella and shade.
- Use sunscreen SPF 15 or greater. Put on every hour if sweating or swimming. Put on every area exposed to sun, and be sure to remember behind the ears and on the neck. Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Be aware of medication that you take that causes photosensitivity (medication interacts with the light to induce sunburn).
by J. L. Richardson, MD, family practice physician, patient advocate, and author of Patient Handbook to Medical Care: Your Personal Health Guide.