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SUMMER HEALTH

Sun Protection Tips

July 05, 1999

* Use a sunscreen if you are going to be out for more than 20 minutes.

* Know your skin type. Fair-skinned people will burn more quickly than darker-skinned people using the same sunscreen.

* If you are fair-skinned, use sunscreens of SPF 15 or higher.

* Use sunscreens with both UVA and UVB protection.

* Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside.

* Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen to your body, covering all exposed skin. Lip balms with an SPF rating should be used as well as sunglasses with UV protection.

* Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating heavily.

* Gel sunscreens need to be reapplied more frequently but are less likely to aggravate acne.

* Be aware when doing activities near water, sand and snow that those surfaces can reflect up to 85% of the sun's rays. That means your skin may sunburn more quickly.

* Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of the sun when possible. Use a children's sunscreen on babies 6 months or older.

* If you are wearing clothing as a cover-up, apply sunscreen underneath. A typical shirt provides protection equivalent to an SPF 6 or 7. A wet shirt provides an SPF of only 1 to 3. Wear clothes with a tight weave or special sun-protective clothing. Wear wide-brimmed hats.

* Avoid tanning salons. According to skin cancer experts, tanning of any kind damages skin cells.

* Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Use umbrellas, canopies and other shade devices.

* Pay attention to the UV Index information released daily by the National Weather Service. The UV Index gives the next day's amount of UV rays on a scale of 0 to 10, or minimal to very high.

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More sun protection information is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/ChooseYourCover.

* A list of products that meet the requirements for the Skin Cancer Foundation's "seal of recommendation" is available by phoning (800) SKIN-490.

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