As summer approaches and the sun shines brighter, it's essential to prioritize sun safety. While we often bask in the warmth and glory of the sun, it's crucial to remember that prolonged or unprotected exposure to sunlight can have harmful effects on our skin. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of sun safety and shed light on certain medications that can make our skin more sensitive to the sun's rays.
Understanding Sun Safety ☀️
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays, classified into two main types: UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, contributing to premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer. On the other hand, UVB rays are responsible for sunburns and can lead to skin cancer over time. Protecting our skin from UVA and UVB rays is crucial for maintaining healthy and radiant skin.
Tips For Sun Safety
1️⃣ Wear Sunscreen: Sunscreen is your skin's best friend! Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you're swimming or sweating. Don't forget those easy-to-miss areas like your ears, neck, and hands!
2️⃣ Seek Shade: When the sun is at its peak (typically between 10 am and 4 pm), find shade whenever possible. Take breaks under an umbrella, a tree, or a covered area to give your skin a break from direct sunlight. It's a chance to cool down and reduce the risk of sunburn.
3️⃣ Cover Up: Dress smartly for the sun by wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. Opt for wide-brimmed hats that shade your face, neck, and ears, and don't forget those fashionable sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.
4️⃣ Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Sun exposure can increase your risk of dehydration, so stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Keep a water bottle handy and sip regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. Your body will thank you!
5️⃣ Be Sun Smart: Practice sun safety habits beyond sunscreen and clothing. Be mindful of reflective surfaces like sand, water, and snow that can intensify UV exposure. Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, as they emit harmful UV radiation that can damage your skin. And don't forget to check your skin regularly for any changes or unusual moles – early detection is crucial!
6️⃣ Check Your Medications: Some medications can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, making your skin more prone to sunburn or other sun-related skin issues. It's important to be aware of these medications and take appropriate precautions.
Medications and Sun Safety
Let's take a brief look at some common medications that can lead to photosensitivity.
Certain medications can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight, leading to a higher risk of sunburn or other skin reactions. Here are a few examples:
Antibiotics: Tetracycline antibiotics, such as doxycycline, and fluoroquinolones, like ciprofloxacin, can cause photosensitivity.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Some NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, have been linked to increased sun sensitivity.
Retinoids: Prescription retinoids like isotretinoin, commonly used to treat acne, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Diuretics: Certain diuretics, like hydrochlorothiazide, can increase the risk of sunburn.
If you have any questions about sun safety, call one of our pharmacy locations to speak to one of our Pharmacists about the sun and your medication.