As the summer sun heats up, you have probably heard plenty of reminders about how important it is to apply sunblock and take other steps to prevent sunburn. Sadly, though, there is a part of the body that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to sun protection: the lips. They are vulnerable to burns, oral cancer, and premature signs of aging if they frequently face prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays. How can you protect your lips from the sun? Here are some practical tips:
Did you know that you can apply regular sunscreen to your lips and the rest of your body? Of course, there are a few drawbacks. Sunscreen can have a bitter taste, and it might cause dryness and irritation for your delicate lip skin. Fortunately, there is another option.
A lip balm with SPF is an inexpensive and effective way to shield your lips from the sun’s harmful rays. Try to find one with SPF 30 (some only have SPF 15) so you can enjoy the highest level of protection possible.
Do Not Forget to Reapply Your SPF
Many people remember to wear sunscreen and a protective lip balm. However, they commonly forget to reapply those products at appropriate intervals. Regular sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or so (more frequently if you are swimming or sweating heavily). Lip balm may need to be reapplied every hour, especially if you have been eating or licking your lips.
Wear a Hat
A hat offers a simple and fashionable way to cast some shade on your face and reduce the risk of sunburn on your lips. Here are a few suggestions on choosing a suitable hat:
- Pick a hat made out of a solid, opaque material, rather than one made out of mesh or something similar.
- Choose a hat that offers a UPF of 50 or greater.
- Ensure that the hat’s brim is wide enough to shield your lips. Baseball caps and sunhats both tend to work well.
Stay Indoors During the Hottest Part of the Day
If possible, try to stay indoors between 11 A.M. and 4 P.M., which tends to be the hottest part of the day. If you have to be out and about, try to stay in shady areas so you can avoid as much of the sun’s radiation as possible.
Your lips are a valuable part of your smile! Protect them this summer by applying the tips in this blog post.
Meet the Practice
Four Town Dental proudly provides general oral health services for the Enfield community. If you have questions about how to prevent oral cancer, or it is time for your next oral cancer screening, we are ready to serve you. Get in touch with our talented team at 860-856-6928.