How much time do you spend thinking about your skin during the summer? The heat and sun mean you need to take extra care of this important part of your body. Applying sunscreen regularly is one of the best things you can do to stay comfortable today and reduce your chances of getting skin cancer down the road. Here are four things the primary care physicians at Riverview Medical Center want you to keep in mind when shopping for sunscreen this summer.

  1. Broad spectrum sunscreens are best. Not all sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Broad spectrum varieties do. Look for this on any label for your best chances of preventing skin cancer.
  2. The number matters. Always choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. SPF 30 will block approximately 97 percent of the sun’s harmful rays.
  3. Think about when you’ll be using the product. If you’ll be swimming or you perspire a lot, buy sunscreens that are water resistant. This designation ensures that you’ll be protected even when your skin gets wet. Read all instructions carefully so you know when to reapply.
  4. Check out the options for sensitive skin. If you’ve faced skin irritation from sunscreen in the past, take another look at some of the newer offerings on the market. PABA-free, fragrance-free versions are easier to find and will cause fewer problems.

Protect your skin now and you won’t just avoid a painful sunburn; you’ll also reduce your risk for skin cancer. To learn more, talk to a primary care physician at Riverview Medical Center’s Rock Hill and Charlotte locations.