Health Watch -- Yard Work: Sun Protection

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about working in the yard. When you're working outdoors, you need to remember to protect yourself from the sun in order to prevent skin damage and even skin cancer.

Dr. Stan Taylor, a dermatologist and skin cancer expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says fair-skinned people can receive significant sun damage in less than an hour of exposure. To protect yourself, wear a broad-brimmed hat and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. You'll need to reapply it regularly if you've been sweating. The sun's rays are most intense between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, so try to limit your exposure during those hours. Long pants and long sleeves can also help shield your skin while you're working outdoors.

Next: Other things to keep in mind when working in the yard.


May 2006

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