According to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADA), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. About 20 percent of all Americans will develop this form of cancer. While men over 50 have the highest risk of melanoma, the ADA says that women have seen the largest increase in skin cancer.
If your mom spends any time outside, she needs to take precautions against too much sun exposure. Here are four ways you can protect her from getting too much sun.
Keep Her Inside When the Sun is Brightest.
Peak sun has the most intense UV rays. Have your mom stay inside during those hours. The actual hours depend on your location, but it’s usually 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those in standard time or 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for daylight savings time. If she must be outside in these hours, she should cover up, wear sunscreen, and try to stay in the shade.
Use a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen.
Your mom needs to use a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreens should be at least 30 SPF and offer water resistance for 40 or 80 minutes. There are mineral-based sunscreens that use zinc or titanium dioxide to block the sun’s rays. Chemical sunscreen agents include avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone.
Apply the Right Amount of Sunscreen.
When applying the sunscreen, she needs to use around an ounce and apply it 15 minutes in advance of going out. That’s approximately two tablespoons. If your mom covers up with long sleeves and pants, she’ll be able to use less, but she needs to make sure her exposed skin has a liberal coating. It should be reapplied every hour or two or right after getting out of the water.
Monitor Time Spent Outside.
Without sunscreen, 10 to 15 minutes is more than enough exposure. Even with sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, your mom should watch how much time is spent outside. You don’t want her to overheat and become dehydrated.
If your mom struggles with alarms or monitoring time, caregivers can help. Have a caregiver time the amount of time she is outside. Your mom should come inside to hydrate and stay indoors for a while to take a break from the sun.
Talk to us about other services professional caregivers offer. With a full range of options like transportation or companionship, your mom can enjoy the summer weather safely.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Simpsonville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.