Sun Damage

Did you know... while it can be fun to spend time in the sun, you need to protect yourself from the damage it can cause your skin? Enjoy your sun safely by following these skincare tips for all your sunny days.

Why do I need to protect myself from the sun?

The sun’s rays will burn exposed skin. Sunburn can be painful and uncomfortable and may increase your risk of developing a skin-related cancer later on. Although the “bronzed” look may be popular, it’s really a sign of sun damage.
The sun’s rays are ever-present, even on cloudy days. In fact, people in northern climates may be at higher risk of skin cancer because they do not feel the sun’s rays, and hence do not take necessary precautions.
Some common skin changes from long-term sun exposure:
• Wrinkled skin
• Brown-coloured sunspots
• Lesions
• Discolouration
• Visible blood vessels

Strategies for protecting my skin from the sun

If you are outdoors for any time in any season, you need sun protection.
Exposure to the sun’s uVA and uVB rays can damage skin and increase cancer risk.
Here are some tips to help prevent sun damage:
  • If you are a woman, choose cosmetics (moisturizers, foundations, lipsticks) that have an sPF of 15 or more
  • Some medications (antibiotics, NSAIDs, diuretics, retinoids or birth control pills) may make you more sensitive to the sun. Ask the Pharmacist at Walmart if you are unsure about the photosensitizing effects of your medicines


Sunscreen tips

  • Use sunscreen properly: Read labels closely and look for a product that protects against both uVA and uVB rays. The “sun protection factor” (sPF) should be at least 15, although you may wish to use 30 sPF if your skin burns easily
  • Sunscreen may irritate your eyes. Always wash your hands after applying sunscreen. Consider using a sunscreen stick on your forehead and anywhere near your eyes, especially if you are physically active or sweating a lot

Sunscreens are not meant to increase the amount of time you spend in the sun … they protect you in case of unavoidable exposure.

Children and the sun

Always apply sunscreen on your child. You will be more likely to apply the correct amount and to hit all the exposed areas of your child’s skin. Apply liberal amounts especially to the face and neck. Reapply every 2 hours or if your child has been very active, swimming or sweating a lot. Try to avoid getting sunscreen in your child’s eyes. Sunscreen stings!
If your child develops a rash from the sunscreen, ask your doctor or the Pharmacist at Walmart for advice on other effective choices.
Children and teens should also wear properly fitted sunglasses for protection.
Make sunscreen part of your child’s daily routine.

More skin protection tips

  • Avoid using tanning beds. Frequent users increase their risk of developing melanoma (a type of skin cancer)
  • Pay attention to any changes in your skin. if you notice a mole or skin growth that has changed in appearance, consult with a dermatologist or your family doctor. Many skin-related cancers are treatable if caught early so do not hesitate to regularly have your skin checked out by a professional
  • Don’t forget to protect your lips from damage by using a lip balm with SPF 15


Your eyes and the sun

Most of us know to protect our skin from the sun, but you must also protect your eyes. Sunglasses are important.
When choosing sunglasses, consider:
  • Choose lenses that block 99-100% of uVA and uVB radiation
  • Wrap-around sunglasses offer added protection
  • Be sure your sunglasses fit properly
  • Grey, green or brown lenses are recommended for driving
  • Polarized lenses reduce glare effectively
  • Be sure that your glasses do not distort your vision
  • If you need sunglasses when bike riding or playing sports, ask the optician at Walmart about the safest options for shatter resistance


Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is knowledgeable about sun safety and can help you choose appropriate sun-protection products for you and your family this summer. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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