Genesee County Health Department
Better Life Through Better Health
Protect Your Skin from the
Soaking up the sunís rays to get a tan was
once thought healthy, before we knew about the
dangers of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Now it is
known that those sunny rays are a major cause of
skin cancer and other skin damage. Too much sun
can cause wrinkles, freckles, cataracts, skin
texture changes and dilated blood vessels. There
will be about a million new cases of skin cancer
this year, including 42,000 cases of melanoma, a
serious type of skin cancer. One in six people
with melanoma will die.
A tan is the result of skin injury from the
sun. Too much sun exposure causes skin
tenderness, pain, swelling and blistering. Other
signs like fever, chills, upset stomach and
confusion can indicate serious sunburn and may
need immediate medical attention.
To stay safe in the sun:
- Limit time in the sun, especially between
10 AM and 4 PM, when the sunís rays are
- Use a sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection
factor) of at least 15. If fair skinned,
burn easily, or spend long periods of time
in the sun, use a SPF of 30 or greater.
- Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before sun
exposure and reapply often and after water
- Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the
nose and face, sunglasses with UV protection
for the eyes and lip balm or lipstick with
SPF for lips.
- Babies under 6 months should spend little
time in the sun and wear protective clothing
and a hat. Children over 6 months should
wear a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher.
- Use sunless-tanning products for that
tanned look, instead of long exposure to the