Thursday, September 22, 2011

Slip, Slop, Slapping into Autumn

Autumn begins September 23, 2011.  That means that summer has ended and sunscreen can be put away into the medicine cabinet for several months until warm weather returns.
Or does it? 
Think about it.  Particularly in North Carolina and the rest of the south, most people stay inside during the summer.  It’s hot.  Not just a little warm…but HOT!  Sure, the swimming pools are open and there are plenty of outdoor activities, but your main concern is to find air conditioning.  But now that it’s late September, the temperatures rise only into the 70’s and 80’s.  It’s the perfect weather for getting outside in your shorts and short-sleeved attire.  It’s great weather for golfing, playing tennis, hiking, or attending a college football game.  It’s a great time to be in the sun.  That should be your first clue that you still need to protect yourself.
But what about when the weather gets colder?  You have to remember that UV radiation is not dependent on the warmth of the day.  If the sun is shining, it’s dragging UV radiation along with it…even if it’s freezing outside.  This also includes cloudy days.  If you can see your hand in front of your face, there’s enough UV radiation to cause sun damage.
Make sure to always follow the basic rules of sun protection:
·         Slip on longer sleeves and/or protective clothing
·         Slop on the sunscreen (and apply more than you think necessary)
·         Slap on a hat (your scalp gets more sun than any other part of your body!)
·         Seek shade
·         Slide on some sun glasses (yes, you can get melanoma in the eyes!)
“Slip, slop, slap, seek, and slide.”  Remember it…year round!    

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