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ABCs of Sun Protection

Summer is well under way. Many of us have enjoyed the nice fresh air and maybe have had a picnic by the beach while others have just taken a lovely stroll around the neighborhood. Whatever activities you plan to do outdoors it is important to have protection from the sun. You wouldn’t want to be stuck inside on a beautiful day because you were sunburned a week ago.

  • Always have sunscreen on hand:
  • Most sunscreens are not waterproof and tend to wash off once there is contact with water. Always apply sunscreen right after you finish swimming so you have a greater chance of avoiding a sun burn.
  • Avoid leaving during the hottest part of the day:
  • It is better not to go outdoors when the sun is shining during 11AM to 3PM because these are the times when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Beware of water, and sand:
  • They reflect and intensify the sun’s rays which will increase the chances of being sunburn.
  • Be wary of sunlamps and tanning beds:
  • These can damage your skin more than the sun. It is best to use a self-tanning product to get a tan rather than sunlamps or tanning beds, however, don’t forget to use sunscreen along with the product.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere:
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen on your feet, ears, neck and hands which are the places that tend to be the areas that get the worst sunburn.
  • Prepare Early:
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before leaving for it to work on the skin.
  • Seek Shade:
  • Try avoiding being out in the sun for a long time and instead find a nice comfortable tree to sit under.
  • Sunscreen with a high SPF is important:
  • Use a sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher. The greater the SPF the  longer it will protect you from the sun.
  • Wear a hat:
  • A wide brim hat is recommended to effectively protect your face, neck and ears from the sun.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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