The Arizona summer heat is here, which to many of our chiropractic patients, it means closing your shades and turning your home into your private, cool sanctuary. But as many people who live in Mesa know, we can’t be indoors all the time. In the summertime, we enjoy having BBQ’s and pool parties with friends and family. As much fun as it can be in the sun, the side effects it can be quite harsh. That’s why at Nevy Health our chiropractors and medical professionals have come up with a few ways you can protect yourself and your family from some of the risks of being out in the sun.
Before jumping into protection, we should understand what we are protecting ourselves from in the sun. Sunlight is composed of two types of ultraviolet light, UVA (long wavelengths) and UVB (short wavelengths). If your skin is overexposed to either of these ultraviolet rays, it can lead to wrinkling, premature aging of the skin, and worse skin cancer. Arizona is one of leading states of sun-induced skin cancer in the United States. Sun damage to your skin doesn’t just happen in one visit outside, it’s cumulative, meaning the more you’re exposed, the more damage over your lifetime. The good news is that the harmful effects of sun exposure are preventable. Parents should begin protecting their kids from the sun at an early age to ensure your child’s skin stays healthy throughout their life.
The only real way to guarantee protection from the sun is to stay indoors, but being that we live in “the valley of the sun” and Arizonians enjoy spending time in the sun, it would almost be downright impossible for us to stay indoors 24/7. We recommend doing your best to avoid going outside between the hours of 10 am to 3 pm, when the sun rays are the harshest. Always seek shade whenever possible, and wear wide-brimmed hats and clothing made of tightly woven cotton to help protect your skin
Sunscreen, this would seem obvious but wear it! But before you go running to the store, we recommend reading the sunscreen ingredient label. Some chemicals found in sunscreen, like oxybenzone, can be toxic and lead to cancer. For example, exposure to oxybenzone has been linked to skin allergies and can affect hormones. At Nevy Health, we recommend wearing natural mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. We also want to stress the importance of applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun, and not forgetting to reapply the sunscreen often.
You thought you took all precautions necessary to protect yourself from the sun, but you still managed to get a sunburn. Don’t panic, we are human, and we make mistakes. The first thing you are going to want to do after a sunburn is to get out of the sun and go indoors. Next apply a cold, damp towel to your skin for about 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day. This will help take some of the heat out of your skin. Try also to take cold baths or showers, and gently pat your skin dry leaving some water on your skin. We also recommend using a moisturizer that contains aloe vera, this will help your skin to feel better. Be careful not to use lotions or moisturizers that contain ingredients like petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine. These can irritate your skin and trap heat, which you don’t want when you have a sunburn. Sunburns are not only painful but can leave you feeling very dry inside and out. We advise you drink plenty of water, at least 50% of your body weight in ounces.
If you have questions about more ways to keep you and your family safe this summer from the Arizona heat, call or schedule an appointment with a Nevy Health practitioner. Our Nevy Health staff is always happy to help and educate our patients on how to stay healthy and safe year round. From all of us at Nevy Health, we hope you stay safe in the sun.