- Seek shade or minimize your sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are the most intense. Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses. Whenever possible, keep children under 6 months old out of direct sunlight.
- Apply sunscreen to exposed dry skin 10–15 minutes before going out into the sun. The amount to use for an adult is about 2 tablespoons. Wear sunscreen even when the sky is overcast, as UV rays penetrate clouds and windows (unless the windows are treated to block UV light). Also, take cover and use sunscreen around water, sand, and snow: they reflect UV radiation.
- Do not use tanning beds. They expose the skin to much larger amounts of damaging UV light than normal sun exposure. The American Dermatologic Association supports a ban on tanning beds, and the World Health Organization classifies them as carcinogenic.
This information is provided by your physician and the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine . It is not designed to replace a physician’s medical assessment and judgment.
This page may be reproduced noncommercially to share with patients. Any other reproduction is subject to Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine approval. Bulk color reprints are available by calling 216-444-2661.
For patient information on hundreds of health topics, see the Patient Education and Health Information web site, www.clevelandclinic.org/health