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June 08, 2018 06:18 PM

Sunburn Prevention & Care

These warmer than usual temperatures have many of us spending more time outdoors. 

And that means more exposure to the sun, which can be dangerous. 

Pool days, walking the dog, playing outside, whatever activity it is, getting your sunscreen on is a must. 

"I get sun exposure without even thinking about it. It just kind of adds up really quickly," Domenica Mills said. 

Mills knows all too well how important it is to keep your skin protected from the sun. 

"I was just recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and had something removed from my left calf a couple days ago," Mills said. 

Mills noticed a mole that looked out of the ordinary and headed to the dermatologist for answers she wasn't expecting. 

"It's just one of those things that makes you wake up and pay attention to what you need to do in the future," Mills said.

Dr. Kendra Watson at Dakota Dermatology says the good news is, there are many things you can do to prevent an outcome like this. 

"The sunscreens that we have will help protect us from that ultraviolet radiation that can be so harmful for our skin," Watson said.

In addition to applying your sunscreen at least 10 to 15 minutes before exposing yourself to the sun.

Watson suggests sunscreens with SPF30 or higher and using products containing zinc or titanium due to their ability to repel the sun. 

"If you're really looking to be proactive those are probably the ones to reach for. The chemical sunscreens that have oxybenzone and other chemicals in them kind of absorb the suns rays," Watson said. 

Experts say the sun is the strongest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so try to schedule your outdoor activities around that time. 

"One area where people can kind of commonly make a mistake and think that, oh I put it on I'm find for all day... but really we recommend every 90 minutes to 2 hours. Especially if you're going to be in direct heat and direct sunlight," Watson said. 

But if you do end up getting a sunburn, Watson says drink plenty of water, avoid the sun, and apply plain Vaseline to the affected area. 

Mills says since her surgery, her diagnoses is optimistic and plans to stay vigilant about protecting herself from the sun. 

For more information on how to keep your skin protected this summer, click here. 

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