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When the Sun is NOT Your Friend (What You Need to Know about Sun Exposure)

When you're over the age of 50, lying in the sun can be a relaxing experience. The warmth can calm you, easing aches and pains. However, the sun isn't always your friend and can pose some health risks.

You probably remember being young and getting a tan to look healthier. There was a time when individuals would lather on baby oil to tan faster. We didn’t know then just how dangerous the sun was. But we know now. And for retirees moving to hot, sunny states like Arizona, Florida, and Texas, the sun can be especially harmful.

No matter your age, exposure to the sun can cause all sorts of skin issues. From quickening the pace of wrinkles to developing cancer, the range of damage that too much sun exposure can cause is broad and eye-opening.

Sunlight emits UV radiation which is harmful to skin cells. To protect yourself from its damaging capabilities, there are steps you can take to reduce and prevent sun damage, including:

  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher
  • Reapply sunscreen frequently while in the sun
  • Protect your lips with an SPF 30 or higher lip balm
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect your limbs
  • Use a wide-brimmed hat to keep sunlight off your face
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10:00AM and 4:00PM
  • Wear glasses to protect your eyes from UV light

Another critical action to take if you are on any medications is to ask your physician if they may increase your risk of UV damage.

The harmful effects of the sun do not discriminate. Young or old, protecting your skin from its harmful rays will help keep you looking youthful and reduce the chance of developing serious health conditions.

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