Summers in Michigan are glorious, and we all tend to spend a lot more time outside during the next few months than at any other time of the year. That’s why May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and know what to do if you overdo it and need medical attention.
Protect yourself with proper clothing – One way to protect yourself from the summer sun is to wear a hat and a lightweight, long sleeve shirt, especially one made with materials that offer UV protection. Not that you’d want to go to this extreme on a normal day, but notice how professional landscapers, who are out in the sun all day, frequently wear wide brimmed hats that protect the back of the neck, and long sleeved shirts. Depending on the outside temperature and whatever you are doing outside, wearing light weight and sun protecting clothing is a good option.
Protect yourself with the right sunscreen – There is some debate over whether a spray on sunscreen is as effective as a cream based sunscreen. There are several good options, and ultimately, using a sunscreen that makes you and/or your children feel comfortable means you are likely to use it more. Here’s a link to some tested and highly rated sunscreen options.
How to soothe your skin and recover from sunburn – If you do get a sunburn, the American Academy of Dermatology offers some great tips:
Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain
Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera
Take aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and redness
Drink extra water
If your skin blisters, allow it to heal
And finally, be extra careful when you do go back outside after your skin heals
When to seek medical attention – Most of the time, the treatment options listed are both sufficient and appropriate, But should you or someone in your family experience a sunburn that is severe and extremely painful, come see us at any of the eight IEP Urgent Care locations in metro Detroit. We can make an assessment, offer additional treatment and care.