Summer Care: Preventing Sunburn and Skin Damage

For many, the summer means beach trips, vacations, and family fun, but the season can also bring insects, rashes, asthma attacks, sunburns, and more. 

While we’re not here to ruin anyone’s good time, we are here to keep you safe and healthy. So, we’re providing a rundown of some summertime perils and how best to treat these conditions. 

Southcoast Health reminds you to stay vigilant and not to ignore your symptoms. We are your resource for world-class care close to home, including treatment for seasonal illnesses, minor injuries, and more.

Sunburn: Prevention & Protection 

Sun safety is always in season, and it’s important to shield your skin from sun damage throughout the year. However, summertime leads to higher sun exposure. Exposure to the sun can cause sunburn, skin aging (such as skin spots, wrinkles, eye damage, and skin cancer).

That’s why limiting sun exposure helps reduce skin cancer and damage risks. Protecting yourself requires a thorough approach. Southcoast Health recommends the following steps to avoid sunburns and limit exposure:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10am and 4pm.
  • Avoid tanning, including the use of UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including brimmed hats and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for extended outdoor activity or use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating. 
  • Keep newborns out of the sun.
  •  sunscreen on babies over the age of six months.
  • Self-exam your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.

Remember, sunburns are not immediately visible. Symptoms usually start about 4 hours after sun exposure, worsen in 24-36 hours, and resolve in 3-5 days. Learn the best ways to combat sunburn and seek follow-up care if necessary.

At our locations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Southcoast Health offers the latest screening and treatment technology for melanoma skin cancer. Depending on your diagnosis of melanoma or other skin cancer types, our providers will work with you to come up with the best treatment plan for your needs.

We offer an extensive list of MA and RI treatment options for skin cancer, including chemotherapyradiation therapy, and surgery. Schedule an appointment with a skin cancer specialist at one of our cancer care centers or contact us today.