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Protecting your Skin from the Sun this Summer

The Friday before Memorial Day is known as “Don’t Fry Day," highlighting the importance of protecting our skin from the sun. A dermatologist goes over why sunscreen and other precautions must be taken before heading outside.

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CLEVELAND - The Friday before Memorial Day is known as “Don’t Fry Day.”

The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of protecting your skin before you head outside to go to the pool or a cookout.

“The sun has a lot of negative side effects on our skin. Sun exposure can cause skin cancer and prematurely age our skin,” explained Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, dermatologist for Cleveland Clinic. “By wearing sunscreen and protecting our skin from the sun, we can decrease the chance of developing skin cancers, such as basal cell and squamous cell, and fight some of those aging complications.”

When it comes to sunscreen, Dr. Khetarpal said look for one that has an SPF of 30 or higher.

She recommends putting on your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before heading outside – even if it’s cloudy – and reapplying it every two hours.

The amount of sunscreen needed to cover most adults is enough to fill a shot glass and don’t forget to get places like your ears and feet.

It’s also best to seek shade or limit your time in the sun between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Dr. Khetarpal adds you can also wear special clothing to help protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

“Sun-protective clothing items, that go by UPF or ultraviolet protective factor, have specific blends of fabrics that can protect our skin from the sun,” Dr. Khetarpal said.

If you experience sunburn, Dr. Khetarpal stressed it’s important to stay indoors and avoid any further sun exposure while you heal.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 81,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,743 salaried physicians and researchers, and 20,160 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,690-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, 276 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2023, there were 13.7 million outpatient encounters, 323,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 301,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 132 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CleClinicNews. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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