Nowhere is better for summer fun than Costa Mesa and Orange County. Idyllic weather, nearby beaches, and lots of public outdoor and athletic facilities and events means there’s an adventure around just about every corner. As local residents head outdoors for the summer months, they need to remember to take care to avoid skin damage and other health risks associated with too much exposure to the sun. Costa Mesa medical clinic doctors see patients suffering from sun-related causes all too often, and they counsel local residents to take steps to protect themselves from sun exposure.
Excessive exposure to the sun can not only cause damage to the skin, making it look prematurely aged, it can also cause cancer. Sunlight contains UV rays, which can result in a variety of negative impacts, including wrinkles, eye cataracts, and skin cancer. Damage from exposure to UV rays depends on the strength of the light, how long people are exposed, and whether skin and eyes are protected.
Costa Mesa urgent care physicians and health care professionals recommend the following steps to help protect against harmful exposure to the sun:
- Wear sunscreen with a sufficient SPF. The American Melanoma Foundation recommends that people use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater (they go up to 50). Fair-skinned people who burn easily may want to use higher SPF sunscreens.
- When out on the beach, you’ll want to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out, and reapply every 90 minutes. Reapplying is especially important if you go in the water, even if you’re wearing water-resistant sunscreen.
- Moisturize. Use a daily moisturizer containing vitamin C to keep your skin free of fine lines and wrinkles, and to repair past sun damage.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Be sure to eat foods containing anti-oxidants, such as leafy greens, melons and blueberries. Salmon and egg whites also are helpful, as they are a healthy source of protein.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help maintain your skin’s appearance and will also help you avoid becoming dehydrated or experiencing heat-related illnesses.
- Consider wearing a hat or protective clothing. If you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period, it may be worthwhile to protect your skin with a hat or thin, long-sleeved shirts. Clothing will help reduce the amount of UV rays your skin is exposed to.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer in the U.S., affecting about 3.5 million people. Thousands of deaths each year are attributed to melanoma, one of the most serious forms of skin cancer. UV radiation is a leading cause of skin cancer, but, by taking appropriate care, it can be easily avoided.
Xpress Urgent Care Medical Clinic provides primary care and treatment for minor injuries for Orange County area patients. For quick, convenient, and friendly health care, call 949-548-8400 to set up an appointment, or just walk in to the Costa Mesa clinic.