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East Central Indiana

Sun Protection

Sun Protection

Sun Protection


  1. Minimize sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daylight saving time) when the sun is strongest. Try to plan your outdoor activities for the early morning or late afternoon.
  2. Wear a wide brimmed hat, long sleeved shirt and long pants when out in the sun. Choose tightly-woven materials for greater protection from the sun's rays.
  3. Apply a sunscreen before every exposure to the sun, and reapply frequently and liberally, at least every two hours, as long as you stay in the sun. The sunscreen should always be reapplied after swimming or perspiring heavily, since products differ in their degrees of water resistance. We recommend sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more printed on the label.
  4. Use a sunscreen during high altitude activities such as mountain climbing and skiing. At high altitudes, where there is less atmosphere to absorb the sun's rays, your risk of burning is greater. The sun is stronger near the equator where the sun's rays strike the earth most directly.
  5. Don't forget to use your sunscreen on overcast days. The sun's rays are as damaging to your skin on cloudy, hazy days as they are on sunny days.
  6. Individuals at high risk for skin cancer (outdoor workers, fair-skinned individuals, and persons who have already had skin cancer) should apply sunscreens daily even in the winter.
  7. Photo-sensitivity - an increased sensitivity to sun exposure - is a possible side effect of certain medications, drugs, and cosmetics, and of birth control pills. Consult your physician or pharmacist before going out in the sun if you're using any such products. You may need to take extra precautions.
  8. If you develop an allergic reaction to your sunscreen, change sunscreens. One of the many products on the market today should be right for you.
  9. Beware of reflective surfaces! Sand, snow, concrete, and water can reflect more than half the sun's rays onto your skin. Sitting in the shade does not guarantee protection from sunburn.
  10. Avoid tanning parlors. The UV light emitted by tanning booths causes sunburn and premature aging and increases your risk of developing skin cancer. If you like the "tanned" look, try a self tanning product such as jane iredale™'s Tantasia or one of the many spray-on tans.
  11. Keep young infants out of the sun. Begin using sunscreens on children at six months of age, and then allow sun exposure with moderation to prevent both tanning and burning.
  12. Teach children sun protection early. Sun damage occurs with each unprotected sun exposure and accumulates over the course of a lifetime.

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Sunscreen Basics

Sunscreens available for purchase