• Summers Pharmacy

Keeping Safe and Fun in the Summer Sun!

School is out, and it is time to plan for some fun in the sun with your kids or loved ones. Where will your family visit this season? Summer is the best time of year. The days are longer, the sun is hotter, and most importantly, there is no schoolwork to check! Summer gives you time to kick back and relax with your friends and family. Don’t forget to splash into your Summers Pharmacy when looking for ways to cool off. Our summertime section includes items to keep your summer plans sailing smoothly and safely.


Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

While we rely on the sun’s rays for warmth and light, too much sun can cause damage to the skin. Sunlight is a type of ultraviolet light; that’s where the acronym UV comes from when referring to the sun. UV rays that reach the earth’s surface are either UVA or UVB:

  • UVA rays make up 95% of the rays that reach the earth.

  • UVB rays make up the remaining 5%.

Why is it important to know these kinds of rays? The earth isn’t the only thing absorbing these rays; your skin also does. Most times, this manifests as a tan or a sunburn. Excess exposure to UVA & UVB rays can cause:

  • Skin damage

  • Skin cancers

  • Skin blisters

All skin types are at risk for sun exposure issues. Don’t let the sun’s rays damage your skin! The Fitzpatrick Scale, shown below, is a classification system for skin types and their reaction to UV rays.



Many products help your skin before and after a summer day outside, including:

  • Aloe vera gel – which helps soothe sunburns.

  • Hats & Sunglasses – protect your head and face from the sun.

  • Sunscreen – helps filter UV rays from the sun to protect your skin from damage.


Proper Sunscreen Usage

As you look at bottles of sunscreen at your Summers Pharmacy, search for the letters “SPF” on the label. SPF is the abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor. SPF measures how well the product will protect your skin against the sun. While there may be sunscreens with various levels of SPF, some as high as 70, dermatologists recommend using sunscreens with an SPF level of 30. It’s good to know the levels of protection offered by each SPF number.

SPF level

Level of protection from UVB Rays

SPF 15

93%

SPF 30

97%

SPF 50

98%

SPF 100

98.3%

The chart above shows that an increase in SPF level above 30 does not equal significantly more sun protection. This information is helpful to remember when you’re looking for sunscreen at your Summers Pharmacy.



Essential Factors to Keep in Mind When Applying Sunscreen

  • It is not enough to apply sunscreen once. Water from swimming and sweating can affect your sunscreen layer. Reapply every two to three hours. This applies to sunscreens that claim to be water-resistant as well.

  • Sunscreen is to be applied to the face, neck, arms, legs, and lips too! Many companies now make lip balms with sunscreen in them.

  • Check your product expiration dates. Topical products do lose efficacy over time. Have our pharmacy staff show you if you’re unsure how to locate the expiration date. We are more than happy to help!


Sun Safety Beyond the Beach

It's integral to pack sunscreen anytime you expect to be outside. Many usually think sun protection is necessary for beach days. Here are other times to use sunscreen:

  • Driving

  • Attending an outdoor wedding

  • Camping

  • Visiting a water park

  • Fishing

  • Yardwork

  • Exercising outside

Along with using sunscreens, any time you expect sun exposure, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated, seek shade when possible, and take periodic breaks. Our team at Summers Pharmacy wants to make sure you enjoy your time in the sun. Come see us before your next outdoor activity to ensure you don’t have to feel the burn this summer!


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