How to Keep Your Skin Safe From UVA/UVB Rays This Summer

By K Health
Medically reviewed
May 27, 2021

The UV index is rising, the beach is calling—yes, for the first time this decade folks are actually looking forward to socialized summer fun. But it’s been a minute since we’ve done this thing. (The outside the house thing.) 

So before you head into the holiday weekend, K’s expert clinicians bring you everything you need to know to beat the burn this summer.

The Risks of UVA/UVB Exposure

Exposure from UV radiation can cause all kinds of unpleasant conditions—sunburns, premature aging, or skin cancer—regardless of skin type. 

Even that “healthy glow” is really just the body’s response to injury caused by UVB rays, freckles too! (Sorry.) 

Of course, avoiding sun exposure altogether is the best way to avoid risk, but there are a few simple solutions to revel responsibly. The Five S’s, if you will.

The 5 S’s of Sun Protection

  1. Slip on a t-shirt…extra points for clothing with UVP (ultra-violet protection).
  2. Slop on SPF…30 or greater head-to-toe at least 15 min before basking, and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours. Even if it’s cloudy.
  3. Slap on a hat…the bigger the brim the better your skin.
  4. Slide on some sunglasses…to help prevent cataracts from UV rays, and fine lines & age spots around your eyes.
  5. Seek the shade…whenever possible. It’s breezy there, you’ll love it.

Easy right? Great. But if, after all this, you start to feel that familiar sting radiating from your skin, our KMDs have a few tips to help relieve discomfort from mild burns.

How to Relieve Discomfort From A Mild Sunburn

  • Drink lots of water to replace the fluids you lost to the sun.
  • Use cool water or aloe vera gel to soothe, then keep your skin moisturized with a fragrance-free, calming lotion to help prevent peeling.
  • A dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen orally can help relieve pain as needed too.
  • Most importantly, don’t pick or peel, and stay out of the sun until you’re fully healed.

If you’re experiencing more than just a mild burn, any blistering or more intense symptoms of discomfort, do talk to your doctor immediately. Children under 6 months of age should avoid all sun exposure.

And…that’s it! You’re ready. Go enjoy your weekend responsibly—and remember, K’s team of expert clinicians are always available for you 24/7. Even on holidays.

K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.