Protect Yourself From Sunburn

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Memorial Day is usually the unofficial start to summer. With summer comes time in the sun in the garden, at ball games, and at the beach. Protecting yourself from the sun can prevent sunburn and reduce your chances of skin cancer.

When you are gardening, wind, soil, fertilizers, and pesticides may worsen the effects of sunlight. I have worked and played outside all of my life, often with no sun protection, and have experienced a few painful sunburns. Now I am older and wiser and I use sun protection and visit my dermatologist once each year for a skin cancer screening.

Protect Yourself From Sunburn w

Take steps to prevent sun damage to your skin and your children’s. Plan summer work early or late in the day, avoiding being in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m.–2 p.m. when sunlight is most intense. When working outside, wear gloves, hat, long sleeves, and pants to cover and protect your skin. Light cotton clothing reflects heat and is cooler than other materials.

If you have skin that will be exposed, use sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 15-50. Sport-type sunscreens are less likely to sweat off, but you still may need to reapply to get the best protection. In order to get the best protection from sunscreen, apply it at least 30 minutes before you will be in the sun.

Your lips also need protection, so use a lip balm with SPF. And don’t forget to protect your eyes from the sun. There are studies that have shown there is an increased risk of early cataract formation with prolonged sun exposure. Protect your eyesight with quality glasses coated with a UVA blocking filter.

Join the Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Union County for the Successful Gardener program on June 3, 2021, at 7 p.m. Sandy Yakob, Master Gardener℠ Volunteer will discuss and demonstrate plant propagation. This program will be held as both an in-person and a virtual event with registration required. Call Debbie Dillion at 704-283-3729 for registration information.