Sunburns can happen anytime of year, but in the summer the sun’s UV exposure is greater and sunburns are more likely.
According to the CDC, less than a quarter of people wear sunscreen on a regular basis when they go outside. Doctors say one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Even a few bad sunburns as a child will increase that chance.
Experts say sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before going outside and reapplied at least every two hours and after any swimming. Also, a higher SPF sunscreen does not mean it will protect you from UV rays for a longer time. Rather, higher SPFs filter more of the sun’s rays.
The CDC also recommends hats and sunglasses. Baseball caps are popular among kids, the CDC says, but they don’t protect their ears and neck. The CDC recommends using sunscreen on any areas the ballcap doesn’t cover. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from the sun, helping to prevent the development of cataracts.
According to experts, damage can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but can take up to 12 hours to show the full effect. The CDC also says UV rays can cause damage even on cloudy days.