The temps in Chattanooga have been fluctuating a lot lately, but it seems likely that hot weather will be here soon and stick around for a while. Before you head outside to soak up the sun, you’ll want to take steps to properly protect your skin.

That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga wants to offer a refresher on how you can practice sun safety. Read on for a few key tips!

Why Is the Sun Dangerous?

The sun emits ultraviolet rays, with two main types—ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. While the two types of UV rays work slightly differently, they can both lead to skin damage and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

It’s interesting to note that UV rays can make it to earth even when it’s cloudy, so it’s important to take action to protect your skin year-round.

What to Look for in a Sunscreen

  • Broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB
  • At least SPF 30
  • Less than one year old

What Should I Do to Stay Sun Safe?

Sunscreen is a great first step toward protecting your skin. So, slather on the sunscreen on exposed skin at least 30 minutes before heading outside. Then reapply at least every two hours or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.

But you can also take other steps to protect your skin beyond simply wearing sunscreen. There are some sun safety basics you should always practice when spending time outside.

Sun Safety Basics

  • Steer clear of the sun in the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the UV rays are most intense.
  • Wear a lip balm containing SPF to protect your lips.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to shield your nose, ears, neck and scalp.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to all parts of the body, including your toes, elbows and knees.
  • Seek shade when possible.

Not feeling your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga to get the care you need from the comfort of home.