Sun Awareness Is a Year Around Job
We all know to wear our sunscreen in the summer and practice good sun habits, but what about during the other seasons of the year? The answer is, being sun smart is a year around job!
Autumn sun still counts
Where I live, it's still summer. There are hints, though, that autumn is slowly but surely making its way here....nightfall has been coming a little sooner, the sun’s rays no longer feel scorchingly strong, my grass (thankfully) doesn’t require a weekly mowing, and we’ve already had a few evenings that have a hint of coolness to them. Fall brings us glorious, fun-filled days and evenings outdoors. Warm days and cool nights make for my favorite time of year. Don’t get fooled, though, by the autumn sun not feeling quite as strong; you can still get a sunburn. Sitting outside enjoying a college football game? Wear your sunscreen, and don’t forget a hat to protect your head. Headed to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkins? Watching your marching band kid compete in a competition? You know what I’m going to say.....wear that sunscreen! Playing a few rounds of golf with your friends? Sunscreen, hat, and sun-protective clothing would be your best bet.
Winter sun can burn too
Unfortunately, winter will not give you a break from the sun’s rays. Have you ever woken up on a winter’s morning to see the sun reflecting off fresh-fallen snow? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? (And sometimes almost blinding!) Use that as a reminder that you still need sunscreen in the winter, even when the sun isn’t shining brightly. Do you love to ride snowmobiles or to snow ski? I’m not an outdoor winter sports enthusiast (I tried skiing once; I tumbled down the bunny hill and landed smack dab in the middle of a ski class, but that’s a story for another time), but if you are partaking in an outdoor winter activity, you are a prime target for over-exposure to the sun. Snow reflects the sunlight, and even though it’s winter you could get a severe sunburn. Apply sunscreen on your exposed areas and don’t forget sun protection for your lips – they can also burn!
Spring and sunscreen
And then comes spring, and with it finally the warmth of the sun again. To you, your skin looks pasty white from the winter and you cannot wait to get outside, get a little color, and shake off that cabin fever. Doing some sprucing up in the yard? Remember to put on your sunscreen. Headed off to a tropical location for a spring break trip? Lucky you – but definitely remember to pack (and use) your sunscreen and to practice smart sun habits!
Sunburns can occur any time of the year. There’s a reason sunscreen is called ‘sunscreen’ and not ‘summerscreen’.....your skin needs protected throughout the entire year. Enjoy each season and all the fun it can bring, but remember to do your job and protect your skin!
How well have your skin cancer diagnoses been explained to you?