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Be Sun Safe
If you’re going to be out in the sun, especially on sunny days, you need to stay safe. We all need some sun exposure as it is our primary source of vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger and healthier bones, but unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, and even cancer.
Before going out to enjoy the good weather, make sure you are aware of the risks associated with prolonged exposure to the sun and the measures you can take to protect yourself and your family.
- Be outside in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Wear long pants, long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim to protect your skin from sunburn.
- Use a sunscreen lotion or cream that is SPF 15 or more that will screen out most of the UVA and UVB rays and reapply 20 minutes after being out in the sun.
- Sunscreen can get washed off by water and sweating. Remember to put more sunscreen on after you go swimming or if you are sweating.
- Do not go to sleep in the sun. You may wake up and find yourself with a severe burn.
- Sunlight can lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. If you are an insulin dependant diabetic, you need to be very careful when sunbathing to prevent your blood sugar level from dipping too low.
If you need more advice about staying safe in the sun this summer, ask your PharmaChoice pharmacist who is more than happy to help you.
Sunscreen – Fact or Fiction?
You do not have to reapply sunscreen if it says that it is “waterproof” or has “all day protection”.
FICTION: No sunscreen is completely waterproof. They are usually water resistant and should be reapplied every 2 hours or sooner if you have been swimming or sweating a lot.
You should apply your sunscreen 15-30 minutes before you go outside in the sun.
FACT: It takes time for the sunscreen to be absorbed by your skin. If you wait until you are already outside or show signs of getting red, you are at risk for getting sunburn.
You can’t get sunburn on a cloudy day.
FICTION: Clouds don’t block the UV rays that cause sunburn, so you can still get sunburn when it is cloudy. Since UV rays can be reflected off of water, sand, snow and concrete, you can even get sunburn in the shade.
You need to wear sunscreen if you have dark skin or already have a tan.
FACT: Everyone should use a broad spectrum sunscreen all of the time when they are going to be out in the sun. Even people who rarely burn should wear sunscreen to prevent sun damage. A “base tan” isn’t a substitute for sunscreen.
Your Pharmachoice Pharmacist is always available to talk to you about which sunscreen is best for you.
Winter Skin Care
The combination of cold, dry air and indoor heating can cause major moisture deprivation. When the natural moisture evaporates from the top layer of skin, which is no thicker than a sheet of paper, it often leaves you with drier, itchier and older looking skin.
A hot shower may feel great, but as soon as you step out, your skin begins to lose moisture. Try showering in warm water and limit it to five or ten minutes. Moisturize within three minutes to seal in the water. Try not to overuse products containing alpha hydroxy acids. They exfoliate the top layer of the skin, but they may leave the new layer unprotected. And switch from a glass of wine to a glass of water. Alcohol and caffeine both can dehydrate the body.
Experts say oats products can help lock in moisture to form a protective layer. You can get a product with the oats already inside to give you that certain something!
“Leaves of Three – Let it be” is a popular expression to help you remember what poison ivy looks like to avoid coming into contact with it. Poison ivy is a plant that is normally found in wooded areas, especially along the edges of fields and cliffs. The leaves are in groups of three and somewhat shiny.
Poison ivy contains an oil, called urushiol, that causes an allergic reaction after exposure. The oil is in the leaves, vines and roots. It causes severe itching that develops into reddish bumps and then blistering.
If you are exposed to poison ivy, immediately follow these steps in sequence:
- Cleanse exposed areas with rubbing alcohol
- Wash exposed areas with water only (soap will move the oil around and spread the rash)
- Take a shower with soap and warm water
- With gloves on, wipe everything you had with you with rubbing alcohol and water (clothes, shoes, etc.)
The rash from poison ivy can last up to four weeks depending on the severity of the exposure. The rash is not contagious. There are many products available to help with the itching. Speak to your Pharmachoice Pharmacist to pick out the best one for you.