Back to Top Skip to main content

Five tips for protecting your skin from the sun

You have many options for protecting your skin while outdoors in the sun, including protecting your eyes and the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses. (U.S. Air Force file photo) You have many options for protecting your skin while outdoors in the sun, including protecting your eyes and the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses. (U.S. Air Force file photo)

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Summer is upon us and with so many sun-filled fun activities to look forward to, don’t let safety take a backseat. During times of extreme weather, your skin can be at risk of suffering the most damage. Skin protection, especially during the summer, is crucial to ensuring overall health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in just 15 minutes. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the U.S. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is overexposure to UV light, either from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps. Be aware that indoor and outdoor tanning can be extremely harmful and should be done in a cautious and mindful manner.

You have many options for protecting your skin while outdoors in the sun. Follow these tips this summer to help protect yourself and your family:

  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher - Put on broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF15 on all parts of exposed skin before you go outside. This is a good practice even on slightly cloudy or cool days. And remember, sunscreen wears off. You may need to reapply sunscreen if you stay out in the sun for more than two hours, and after you swim or sweat excessively.
  • Wear clothing to cover your skin - When possible, wear a T-shirt or beach cover-up, in addition to sunscreen. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and skirts provide protection from UV rays.
  • Use shade - Reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. But don’t rely on the shade alone. You still need to remember to use protective measures, like sunscreen and protective clothing, when you’re outside.
  • Wear a hat to provide upper body shade - Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses - Protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes by wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses that wrap around work best because they block UV rays.

Anyone can develop skin cancer. However, a person’s skin pigment indicates how likely they are to sustain injury from UV rays. If you notice changes in your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in the appearance of a mole, talk to your doctor. TRICARE covers skin cancer exams for people who are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer. This includes individuals with a family or personal history of skin cancer, increased occupational or recreational exposure to sunlight, or clinical evidence of precursor lesions.

Stay tuned for more summer safety tips from TRICARE. To learn more about sun safety, visit the CDC or American Cancer Society websites.

You also may be interested in...

Summer PCS plans altered by COVID-19

Man wearing mask loading boxes into a car

Service members and families have suggestions to keep you safe.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Summer Safety

Proper hydration enhances warrior fitness

Soldier drinking from a water bottle

Learn the danger signals of dehydration

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Total Force Fitness

Three steps for a successful end-of-summer blow out

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mario Cardenas, with Provost Marshal's Office, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, prepares lunch for the H&HS Barbecue Cook-off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Hiatt)

In just three stages, any military family can have a fun-filled welcome party for fall

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Summer’s fun, just avoid too much sun

Soaking up the sun is one of the best parts about summer. However, make sure to protect your skin when enjoying the sun-filled days ahead. Too much unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause sunburn, eye damage, and skin damage in the form of premature wrinkles. (DoD photo)

Make sure to protect your skin when enjoying the sun-filled days ahead

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | TRICARE Health Program

The things head lice carry: Stigma and hassle, but no harm

Lice are parasitic insects that can be found on people’s heads, and bodies. Human lice survive by feeding on human blood. (EPA photo)

Lice – a common affliction in school children – are gross but harmless

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Summer Safety | Bug-Borne Illnesses

Preparing for travel can prevent illness

Experts encourage overseas travelers to seek advice from a health care provider before leaving on a trip, and to make sure recommended vaccinations are up to date (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. De-Juan Haley)

Experts encourage travelers to be proactive about their travel medicine needs, including learning about the health risks associated with the destination and checking with their doctor to make sure they’re in good health

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health | Immunizations | Summer Safety

Army entomology experts: Don’t get bitten

The lone star tick is the most common tick found in the southeastern U.S. One of the first things people can do to prevent a tick bite is to recognize tick habitats, and avoid them. (U.S. Army photo by Graham Snodgrass)

The best way to ensure you don't get sick is to not get bitten

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Summer travel: Getting care while overseas

 Summer vacation is the start of travel season for many military families.

When traveling overseas, you should know what to do in the event of illness or other health issues

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Summer Safety

Exertional heat injuries pose annual threat to U.S. service members

Two U.S. service members perform duties in warm weather where they may be exposed to extreme heat conditions and a higher risk of heat illness.

Exertional heat injuries pose annual threat to U.S. service members, according to a study published in Defense Health Agency’s Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) peer-reviewed journal, the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Medical Surveillance Monthly Report | Summer Safety
Showing results 1 - 9 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.