It is generally healthier to avoid extremes, whether in exercise, work, eating, etc. It is especially true when it comes to sun exposure. The sun has many health benefits, though when we get too much sun, there may be serious health consequences.

Too much exposure to the sun can cause cancer. In fact, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in this country. One in five people will experience some form of skin cancer in his or her lifetime.

By using common sense and moderation, you can enjoy the benefits of the sun without the harmful consequences.

Benefits of Sun

  • Enhances your mood
  • Treats Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Increases Vitamin D in your body

Problems from the Sun

  • Sun damage to your eyes
  • Heat exhaustion/heat stroke
  • Sunburn
  • Nausea
  • Heat rash
  • Skin cancer
  • Wrinkles/ages your skin

Ways to enjoy the sun safely

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Use sunscreen, even on cloudy days.
  • Use lotions, not sprays. The FDA is concerned about inhalation risks and that you won’t get adequate coverage with sprays.
  • Wear loose-fitting light-colored clothing. There are a lot of clothing options with UV protection you can wear while enjoying your favorite outdoor sports.
  • Wear good quality, polarized sunglasses.
  • Be especially careful near water, sand and snow as they reflect the sun’s rays.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Keep your sunroof closed during peak sun hours.

Here are some links to some helpful information:

Sunscreen FAQs

ABCs of SPF – Consumer Reports

FDA Sunscreen Information

Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide