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Summer Skin Safety

Posted by on Aug 14, 2020 in Access, Health and Wellness

Summer is all about heading outdoors for fun activities, fresh air, and to soak in some Vitamin D from the sun. It’s important to remember that without protection, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Over time, this can lead to skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the U.S. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented. Here are some of the best ways to help protect you and your family.

Wearing Sunscreen
Every time you go outside, your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays—even on not-so-sunny days. For the best protection against skin damage, experts recommend choosing a water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, regardless of your age, skin color, or how long you’ll be in the sun. Look for a sunscreen labeled “broad-spectrum,” which means it protects against both UVA rays, associated with skin aging, and UVB rays, associated with skin burning.

Apply sunscreen to all skin not covered by clothing at least 15 minutes before going outside to allow time for it to absorb into your skin. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. For lip protection, apply a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15.

Wearing Protective Clothing
Wear clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect exposed skin when heading outdoors. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also provide shade and protection for your face, ears, and neck, and wearing sunglasses can help to protect your eyes and reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye problems.

Examining Skin Regularly
Regular skin examinations may help catch skin conditions early on when they are most treatable. It is beneficial to check your skin for any changes or signs of a skin condition, such as a spot that is different from others, itches, or bleeds. Scan your entire body in a full-length mirror and use a hand mirror to closely view your neck and scalp. You may want to ask a partner to help, if available.

If you notice something concerning, contact your primary care provider to discuss which exams or screenings may be right for you. Preventive care screenings are available at no cost share for Sutter Health Plus members.

Skin Safety for Kids
Children should use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and avoid, if possible, outdoor activities between noon and 4 p.m. when the sun’s harmful UV rays are strongest. It’s also important for children to take routine breaks every couple of hours during outdoor activities to reapply sunscreen, find shade, and hydrate.

Accessing Same-Day Care
For quick and convenient medical care for a variety of common everyday health needs, including sunburns and common skin conditions, members can go online to book a same-day visit or walk right into the nearest Sutter Walk-In Care location. Adults and children 18 months and older are welcome.

Additionally, members with participating providers now have access to a new “Video Visit with Your Clinician” option when opening Direct Scheduling in the My Health Online mobile app or website. To support members during this time, there is no cost share for video visits for covered services from April 1 through December 31, 2020.