Summer is here, and with it comes long, lazy days and beach weather. Have you ever heard that expression, “fun in the sun”? Well, there’s a reason that saying is not “fun in the rain” instead. Sunshine can provide positive health benefits like the release of serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer. Serotonin can reduce depression and anxiety and increase happiness. Exposure to the sun can support the production of Vitamin D, which is vital for calcium absorption to keep bones strong. Research suggests that some UV ray exposure can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. So, while getting sunshine can be positive for your overall mental and physical health, you still need to take precautions to avoid adverse side effects such as skin cancer and dehydration. FirstLantic provides some guidance about enjoying the benefits while protecting yourself.
- Protective Clothing
The proper clothing can be your best defense against harmful UV rays. Look for garments that have the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval. Also, always wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Stay Hydrated
Once you start to feel thirsty, it’s a sign that your body is already mildly dehydrated. Symptoms include weakness, headache, muscle cramps, confusion, and dizziness. However, you can avoid getting to this state by consistently drinking lots of water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade. The Mayo Clinic recommends how much water you should drink for your body weight. In extreme heat, also avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, and even caffeine, as these dehydrate your body.
- Always Use Sunscreen
Even with protective clothing, it is a good idea to use sunscreen. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with at least SPF 30. Apply it 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to often-overlooked areas such as the ears and hairline.
- Get Regular Examinations
You can still get skin cancer even if you take all the necessary precautions. The fact is that over half of skin cancer deaths occur in adults over the age of 65. That’s because early exposure, particularly for people with frequent sunburns as children, also increases the risks of skin cancer and melanoma. That’s why it’s so important to get checked regularly by a dermatologist. You can also perform self-inspections in between physician visits. Look for any changes in your skin, such as new moles that increase in size or shape and sores that itch or hurt and do not heal within three weeks. Early prevention can make all the difference, so if you detect something abnormal, get it checked immediately.
There are many positive benefits to sunlight. But as with many things in life, there can be negative consequences if you don’t take precautions. So, don’t miss out on the positives of a sunny day. If you follow this guidance, you can get the best of both worlds!
FirstLantic cares about your well-being. If you or someone you know needs home care assistance in Florida, FirstLantic can help. We are locally owned and operated, providing our patients with the highest quality senior in-home care solutions, including hourly care in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) and Delray Beach (Palm Beach County) since 2000. Click here to contact us.
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