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Summer is a time for vacations, cookouts, outdoor sports, and beach trips. All that time outside can take a toll on your skin, though. Here are some common summer skin hazards, and what you can do to prevent and treat them.


Red and painful skin. Blisters. Peeling. Sunburn is uncomfortable, to be sure. But it can also cause premature aging and lead to skin cancer.

Your best protection against sunburn is to limit the time your skin is exposed to the sun. Here are some ways to protect your skin from sun damage:

  • Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of skin about 30 minutes before you go outside. Look for a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you’re in the sun, or right after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Use a lip balm with an SPF 30 or higher.
  • Limit how much sun you get between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

If you get a sunburn, try this: Take a cool shower or bath and use a moisturizer or an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream. It might ease the discomfort.

Call the doctor right away if there are blisters, fever, extreme pain, swelling of the face, or the sunburn covers a large area. Get emergency care if there are any signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke after being out in the sun.

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