Preventing Sunburns

Summer’s coming up quickly. Here’s how to protect the ones you love from skin cancer. 

A sunburn increases your risk of developing skin cancer. The good news is that despite the prevalence of skin cancer in the US, this form of cancer is preventable if you know how to properly protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. While our Lake Orion, MI, family doctor Dr. Joseph Gorz wants you and your family to be able to enjoy the great outdoors this summer, our team also wants to keep your skin healthy and safe. Here’s how,

Avoidance is Ideal

One of the best ways to prevent sunburns is by avoiding the sun in the first place. There are ways for you to lessen the effects of the sun’s rays on your skin by following these helpful tips laid out by the American Academy of Dermatology,

  • Avoid: Avoid staying in direct sunlight as much as possible and avoid prolonged exposure. You should avoid the sun during the hours of 10 am-3 pm, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest and are most dangerous to the skin.
  • Block: Everyone should wear sunscreen every day, making sure to apply it about 20-30 minutes before going outside. Opt for a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and make sure to reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
  • Cover: Make sure to wear protective clothing with tightly woven fabrics that block or at least minimize how much sunlight can penetrate through the material to the skin. Always wear sunglasses and a hat (preferably with a wide brim) to keep the sun away from your face, neck and chest.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen 

We understand that you aren’t going to keep the family indoors all day every day throughout the summer; however, there are ways to protect you and your family from sunburns, and the very best way is to apply sunscreen daily and all year round (yes, even on cloudy days). Sunscreen is the best defense we have to protect against skin cancer.

Unfortunately, many people don’t use sunscreen properly, which greatly impacts its effect. Here’s what you should know when it comes to choosing and applying sunscreen,

  • Look for a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays (this is also known as a broad-spectrum sunscreen)
  • Apply one ounce of sunscreen to the body (this is enough to fill a shot glass, according to the American Academy of Dermatology). Make sure that you are getting areas of the body most often exposed to the sun including the arms, hands, ears and face.
  • Apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside and make sure to reapply every 2 hours or as appropriate based on the level of activity.
  • If you are sweating or swimming, make sure to reapply sunscreen immediately.
  • Wear lip balms that contain an SPF of 30 or higher, as lips are also susceptible to sunburns.

Have questions about the right sunscreen for you or your little one? Need to come in for a skin cancer screening? If so, the team at Neighborhood Primary Care in Lake Orion, MI is here for you. Call us today at (248) 690-9181.

The information is provided to you by Dr. Joe Gorz at Neighborhood Primary Care.


To contact the office, please call (248) 690-9181.

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