There are numerous benefits to getting outside and enjoying a little bit of sun here and there, however the risk of getting a sunburn can be bigger than you might think, and the pain from such can be torture. Educating yourself about sunburns can help you protect yourself and your family members from suffering through the agony of extensive sun exposure, and can assist you in avoiding complications due to sunburn in years to come.

A sunburn can be experienced even when it is cloudy outside. The clouds do not sufficiently filter out the sun’s harmful rays, and therefore a good quality sunscreen or sunblock should be used at all times. Before going outside, apply a generous layer of sunscreen/ sunblock to all areas that will be exposed to the sunlight, including your face. Some make-up creams contain sunscreen as well, so read up on the products you use.

Be aware of medications that cause your skin to over-react to sun exposure. Some medications actually decrease the amount of time you can be safely exposed to the sun, so take proper precautions. When in doubt, cover up.

Waterproof products aren’t waterproof forever. Reapply products to your skin every hour after exposure to water. Even sweat can remove sunscreen/ sunblock, so if you’re overly warm and notice heavy sweating, reapply your product.

Be aware of your surroundings. The sun’s rays reflect on different objects in various ways. White or reflective objects such as water, concrete, or large beaches can cause a person to react to the sun much faster than something like grass might.

When in doubt, time yourself. At the beginning of the season, it is wise to slowly expose yourself to the sun in steps. Begin with just a few minutes, and gradually increase the time you are exposed as tolerated.

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