With summer still in full-swing, most of us are enjoying variety of outside activities. However, as we all know very well, sunburn poses a serious health-risk. While the immediate effects of minor pain and redness are merely temporary, one’s risk of skin cancer increases drastically with each burn, as does the likelihood of getting wrinkles and an uneven complexion. Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board-certified in family and anti-aging medicine, suggests the following natural solutions to relish the sunshine without sacrificing your wellbeing.
Pay attention to the timing of your sun exposure Peak sunburn hours are around 11:00-2:00 (or more broadly, 10:00-4:00), so if you’re planning on spending a prolonged period of time outdoors, aim to do so earlier or later in the day than this time frame. Additionally, limiting your time in the sun is beneficial, as people of all skin complexions can absorb maximum vitamin D from the sun within an hour, and for fair-skinned people it can take as little as 10 minutes. Smaller segments of time in the sun will decrease risk of burn. Plus, as your skin gets darker over the summer through short increments, your skin will acquire an increased tolerance to the sun’s rays and you will be able to spend more time in the sun sans damage.
Defend your skin from the inside out Many people do not know that what you eat has a massive impact on your skin’s reaction to sunshine. Build up reserves of powerful antioxidants in your body with a varied, healthy diet in the warm months. Green tea, tomatoes, red wine, fatty fish like salmon, almonds, citrus fruits, and greens all contain vitamins and antioxidant phytochemicals that can support the skin’s response to UV rays and greatly impede skin damage. As a general guideline, focus on colorful, whole foods and avoid refined oils and processed foods to maximize the skin’s response to the sun.
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Tags: Dr. Christopher Calapai