Health Care

Sunscreen: Most Frequently Missed Areas

Applying sunscreen to child
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A day in the sun is a great way to get some exercise or safely connect with family or friends while social distancing. But even if putting on sunscreen is second nature to you, chances are you aren‘t protecting yourself as well as you could. Celebrate National Sunscreen Day by making sure you hit these easy-to-miss areas:

Around Your Eyes

We all know the sting of sunscreen in our eyes, so it’s not surprising that we cautiously approach this area. Even so, one study found that as many as 77 percent of participants skipped the area all together. According to dermatologists, that’s a big no-no. Nearly 5–10% of all skin cancers start on the eyelid.

Dermatologists suggest using a sunscreen stick around the eyes to give your sensitive skin the coverage it needs while reducing the risk of lotion irritating your eyes. Sunglasses with UV protection can also help give your eyes an extra layer of defense. Look for sunglasses with a label that says “UV absorption up to 400 nm” or “Meets ANSI requirements” to block at least 99% of UV rays.

Your Lips

Sunburned lips are painful and dangerous. Squamous cell carcinoma are pre-cancerous lesions that can form on the lips. Be sure to grab some SPF lip balm next time you’re at the store and swipe it on as part of your daily beauty routine.

Your Ears

The tops of your ears are especially easy to miss. When applying sunscreen to your face, be sure to put some lotion on your ears — including the tops and bottoms — to protect skin from burning. Hats can also help protect your ears.

Your Neck

It’s easy to overlook your neck when applying sunscreen. Be sure to protect the front and back of your neck, which will not only help reduce your risk of skin cancer, but will help protect this sensitive area from skin damage and signs of aging.

Your Armpits

Yes, you heard right: Even your armpits need a little sunscreen. The skin under your arms is sensitive and susceptible to the sun’s damaging rays, and dark sunspots can develop as a result. Find a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your skin and add it to your routine.

Your Scalp

Your scalp — especially along parts and hairlines — is a particularly dangerous area to expose to the sun. You’re less likely to notice any suspicious moles or spots on your scalp, making melanoma on the scalp more difficult to catch in its early stages. Cover any exposed skin on your scalp and add a hat to the mix for extra protection.

Your Belly Button

Turns out that even your belly button needs coverage when you’re headed out for a day at the pool or beach. Be sure your get your innie (or outie) next time you’re wearing a belly-baring suit or shirt outside.

Your Feet

The tops of your feet, toes (including in between), heels and even the bottom of your feet are all areas that need sunscreen. After all, you won’t be standing still around the pool or in the sand. Take extra care to cover your entire foot to avoid getting a painful sunburn.

Stay Safe in the Sun

Enjoy the sun’s rays and outdoor time with your family. Be sure to cover up with sunscreen and wear sun protective clothing. And don’t forget to take a break from the sun’s harsh rays and hot temperatures throughout the day.

For more tips on how to stay safe in the sun, check out this post or schedule an appointment to talk with a whole health expert.

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