News | Published June 12, 2014 | Written by Kristin Sides, BS, certified patient navigator, cancer program, Mount Nittany Medical Center

Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays this summer

As summer nears, the days are getting longer and warmer, which means days spent at the pool or playground taking strolls. It’s always important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays – especially in the summer months and even on cloudy or hazy days – taking precautions to prevent sunburn and reduce your risk of skin cancer.

See below for tips to protect your skin while enjoying the sun this summer.

  • Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF 15. Reapply the sunscreen often, especially after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget your lips, ears, back of your hands and tops of your feet.
  • Try to avoid the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Sunscreen doesn’t provide complete protection from UV rays, so cover up. A broad-brimmed hat, such as a baseball cap, can offer protection for your eyes and face. Look for sun-protective clothing and swimwear when you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun.
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays as well.
  • Some common prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, such as antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Speak with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to discuss any potential side effects of any medications you take.
  • Children under six months should be kept out of the sun entirely. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about when you can begin to use sunscreen.

Even with all of these precautions, you should check your skin regularly and don’t forget your back. If you notice any skin cancer symptoms, such as moles that have changed, are bleeding, or growing, speak with your physician. For more detailed information, visit the American Cancer Society at