Sunburns Ankeny IA

Only spelunkers are immune to sunburn. For boaters, climbers, hikers and winter sport enthusiasts, being exposed to high levels of skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays are par for the outdoor course. While symptoms of sunburn vary from tender, sensitive, red skin (first-degree burn) to swelling and blistering (second-degree burn), the best prevention is "slip, slop, slap."

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Sunburns

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Sunburns

Worship nature, not the sun

Only spelunkers are immune to sunburn. For boaters, climbers, hikers and winter sport enthusiasts, being exposed to high levels of skin-damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays are par for the outdoor course. While symptoms of sunburn vary from tender, sensitive, red skin (first-degree burn) to swelling and blistering (second-degree burn), the best prevention is "slip, slop, slap."

Prevention

An Australian anti-sunburn campaign covered all the bases: Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat. While these measures seem pretty basic, each year vacationers around the world still return to work looking like boiled lobsters.

As a refresher on sun safety,

  • Remember, you can get a burn on an overcast or cloudy day.
  • The sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in North America. Take extra precautions if you are outside during these times, or seek out the shade.
  • The sun's intensity (and your risk of a burn) increases at higher elevations and on reflective surfaces like sand, snow and water.
  • Wear a hat with a brim to shield your ears, neck and the tip of your nose.
  • Keep your skin covered with SPF-rated clothes that add a protective layer.
  • And of course, use sunscreen.

Some outdoor adventures, like high altitude climbing or long days spent sailing, might require a zinc oxide sunblock. If you'll be exposed to higher than normal degrees of UV, a clown-white nose and lips might be the smartest way to protect your skin. Regardless of the outdoor adventures you embrace, use sunscreen and cover up.

Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen. Since you're likely to be outside and very active for prolonged periods, we recommend that you

  • Use a minimum SPF 15 (greater if taking photosensitizing medication).
  • Use enough to provide adequate protection.
  • Choose a sunscreen that is waterproof or sweat-proof.
  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin 30 minutes before you begin your activity.
  • Reapply sunscreen every...

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