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Protect yourself this summer from harmful rays from the sun.

Protect yourself this summer from harmful rays from the sun.

Summer is in full swing. It's the best time of year to enjoy outdoor activities, but exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can be harmful. It's a good idea to take precautions when spending any amount of time in the sun. Wearing sunscreen is a good place to start.

Sunscreens are given a sun protection factor (SPF) number that measures their effect against UV radiation. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Here are more precautions you can take to protect your skin:

  • Limit your time outdoors to the early morning or late afternoon when the UV radiation levels are not as high. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Stay away from tanning lamps and beds. They emit UV radiation, putting users at risk for skin cancer.
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible. If there is no natural shade, make your own with an umbrella or canopy.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your neck, ears, eyes, and scalp.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV radiation absorption to protect your eyes.
  • Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days.
Additional health and wellness information

If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about sun safety and more. To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Health & Wellness" tab and type "sun safety" in the search field.