Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Summer has arrived and we are feeling it! Summer means lots of sunshine, heat, and time spent outdoors. Arming yourself with sunscreen before heading out is a smart and preventative measure against skin cancer, but some body parts are often neglected. Here are a few easy-to-miss areas and how to protect them.

Your eyes

Yes, your eyes can get sunburnt too, and it has a clinical name: photokeratitis. Although it’s still unclear whether photokeratitis is linked to eye cancer, it’s still important to protect them from ultraviolet rays because they can affect the cornea and the conjunctiva of your eye. The sun can also dry out the eyes, and photokeratitis can lead to cataracts or vision degeneration. Sunburnt eyes may develop irregular red splotches over the white part of the eye that heal within approximately three days.

To prevent your eyes from burning, make it a habit to wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.

Your scalp

Dermatologist and professor at Yale University School of Medicine Sean Christensen says that even scalps that come with lusciously thick locks of hair can get badly sunburnt, especially where the hair parts. If the idea of smearing sunscreen into your hair doesn’t appeal to you, then you should wear a hat (ideally a broad-brimmed one so that your face, ears, and neck are protected too).

Your lips

Most people won’t skip the face when rubbing themselves with sunscreen, but lips, on the other hand, often get neglected.

The skin on the red part of your lip is extremely thin and sensitive, and your bottom lip endures quite a lot of sun exposure when you’re outside. More reason to protect the lips is that its skin is very similar to the tissue inside your mouth, meaning that skin cancer on your lips can easily and more aggressively spread throughout the body.

The best way to protect this sensitive spot is by frequently applying a lip balm that’s SPF 30 or higher, remembering to re-apply after you eat, drink, or swim.

The tops of your feet

Your feet, especially during colder months, spend a lot of time covered up by shoes or socks, so once they’re set free, the tops of your feet are very likely to burn quickly. Remind yourself to re-apply sunscreen on this particularly vulnerable area often. The soles of your feet, like the palms of your hands, have skin that’s so thick that it blocks out UV rays, but it’s still good to slather them up with sunscreen too.

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