SPF and Sunburns: What you need to know

SPF and Sunburns: What you need to know

Grab your bathing suit and your flip flops -- it’s time to head to the beach! School’s out and the weather is getting warmer. There’s no better time than now to sit back and soak up the sunrays on lovely Lake Michigan. 

And a little sunshine is very healthy. It has positive effects on your mood and decreases the incidence of certain anxiety disorders. Plus, say hello to a healthy dose of bone-enriching Vitamin D! 

Moderation is key with sunbathing. There’s certainly a point where too much of a good thing is no bueno. The sun emits potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays that can cause sunburns and even lead to skin cancer.

When you're going to be out in the sun for an extended period, lather up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It should be applied at least 15 minutes before you enter the sun, so your skin has time to soak it up.

Did you know that your skin is more likely to burn near a lake? The water reflects the sun’s rays, making its effects more intense.  Did you know that most sunscreens only offer protection from UBV rays?  Find out more infomation with this Fun in the Sun and SPF protection infographic.

There’s no such thing as being too late for SPF. If your skin has already suffered sun damage, no worries! A dermatologist can check out sun spots and moles to determine whether or not they need to be removed. Good news! Early detection of skin cancer spots is the best way to ensure efficient treatment. 

Play it safe. If you spot a mole that is raised or has a jagged edge, you may want to schedule an appointment with a Chicago dermatologist.

In the meantime -- pick up a wide brimmed hat and enjoy the sun and sand!

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