Warmer days mean more people are getting outside and enjoying the nice weather. Folks head off on beach vacations, spend time in the pool, and garden, and just sit outside soaking up some sun with a friend. This provides an excellent boost for vitamin D levels, but enjoying time outdoors must be done safely by wearing sunscreen, especially if you’re an older adult.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting older adults. Most older adults today were either born or grew up in a time when sunscreen did not exist or was virtually nonexistent. This means that many may have already suffered sun damage to their skin in their younger years which puts them at a higher risk for developing skin cancer. Not to mention that only 15 minutes of exposure to UV light from the sun can lead to damage. Sunscreen prevents further sun damage and helps to minimize the risks of developing skin cancer.
But skin cancer isn’t the only concern. Sun damage also accelerates the skin’s aging process. As we age our skin becomes more delicate making it more vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun. The last thing we want to do is make those hands of time spin faster!
So, what can the over 50 crowd do to protect their skin?
- Apply an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to all exposed skin at least 15 minutes before going outdoors to allow it time to soak in fully.
- Don’t sunbathe or use tanning beds. If a tan is desired use a sunless tanning lotion or get a spray tan.
- Choose light-colored, lightweight clothing and keep as much skin covered as possible while still staying cool.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when out in the sun.
- Eyes need UV protection too, so always wear sunglasses.
- Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially between 10 am and 2 pm when the sun is the strongest.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while outdoors.
Following these tips will allow older adults to enjoy their time outdoors this summer while protecting their aging skin from overexposure to damaging UV rays.
At Ashbridge Manor Senior Living, we pride ourselves on creating an environment that enables seniors to lead a socially active lifestyle to improve their health. When it’s time to transition to a senior living facility, contact our professional staff members and we can help make it easy. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special!.