- A history of indoor tanning
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun
- Blue or green eyes
- Blond or red hair
- Certain types, and a large number of, moles
Common sense should prevail. Seek shade as much as possible. Twenty minutes of sun per day is enough to supply your body with enough Vitamin D.
For those working outside or playing sports, the reapplication of sunscreen as mentioned above every couple of hours is a must, and wearing a hat can help against both heat and the sun’s rays.
Clothing that protects against the sun can be found in most stores these days and swimsuits and sporting clothes have followed suit.
Bad sunburns should not be ignored. While a light burn can be soothed with aloe vera, cool baths or compresses and time out of the sun, more severe burns can bubble, scar and are terribly painful. Bad burns can also cause swelling, nausea, vomiting and flu-like symptoms like chills and fatigue.
The EmpowHER article “Sunburn” by HerWriter Jennifer Hellwig, MS, RD advises further ways of treating burns:
- "Apply a cool water compress to soothe raw, hot skin
- "Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.
- "Take oral or topical corticosteroids. These will help to shorten the course of pain and inflammation. Topical steroids may not relieve skin redness.
- "Take prescription antibiotics if an infection develops.
- "Be extra careful to protect skin after it peels. The skin is very sensitive after peeling."
A dermatologist may be needed for more severe burns.
A general rule is to apply a good sunscreen liberally and often, avoiding the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and seeking shade will dramatically decrease the risk of skin cancer, as well as premature aging. Tanning beds are never safe.
The sun can be a healthy source of Vitamin D and generally makes us feel pretty good when outdoors. But bearing in mind that its rays can be very harmful, we can have our cake and eat it too, by using common sense.