Here Comes the Sun Safety

During the summer, it’s all about good times and tan lines. We all love a golden, sun-kissed tan, but dealing with the health effects of sun-damaged skin can be scary. Cameron Memorial Community Hospital’s Audra Lehman, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, weighs in on the effects of not protecting your skin during the summer months.

“Ultraviolet-ray exposure from the sun is dangerous to our health and can lead to conditions such as skin cancer and premature aging of the skin,” Lehman said. It is important to protect yourself by always applying sunscreen before going outside. Wearing protective clothing or ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) clothing can also help prevent UV rays from reaching your skin.

Lehman reminded us that the areas of a person’s body that need the most protection are those that “stick out.” This means you should try to cover areas like the ears, nose, scalp and shoulders. These are excellent places to target with sunscreen or cover with a shirt or hat.

UV rays can also deteriorate your eyes and result in conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. Lehman said, “Don’t forget to protect those precious eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses.” Sunglasses should block 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.

How Can We Protect Ourselves From the Sun?

  • Be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.
  • Protect the areas that are most visible.
  • Wear sunglasses that block harmful rays.

Whether it is winter or summer, cloudy or sunny you are always subject to UV exposure. Sunscreen should still be applied on days when you may think it is not necessary. UV rays can penetrate clouds and windows. Next time you’re taking a road trip or enjoying a cloudy day, remember to apply your sunscreen as the threat of harmful ultraviolet radiation is still present.

Lehman wants everyone to enjoy the beauty and warmth of the sun safely. Next time you are thinking about going outside and soaking up the sun, consider trying out the suggestions above to ensure you’re staying safe this summer!

For more information about Audra Lehman and Cameron’s family medicine team, visit


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