August 24, 2020
Taking care of yourself in the midst of a global pandemic can be quite challenging. Often, fear of the unknown can distract you from attending to the regular tasks in your life that keep your health in check — things like eating well, exercising, and going outside. But, even with social distancing rules, I encourage folks to try and keep as “regular” a life as one can.
“Regular life” certainly involves being outside! Spending time outdoors is not just OK, it’s quite healthy if you wear a mask in public during the COVID-19 pandemic and practice social distancing. Or, you can just spend time in your own yard doing things like:
You may be thinking: “I have been cooped up inside so long I don’t need sunscreen when I’m out for a short time!” But, think again!
Remember, UV radiation from the sun is not only dangerous, it’s sneaky too. Besides causing premature aging and skin cancer, UV rays can penetrate even when you think you aren’t in the sun. UV radiation can bounce off surfaces like sand, water, and snow, and can pass through glass and clouds.
Skin cancer isn’t just from excessive time in the sun (for example, someone who was a lifeguard at the beach for many years). The deadly effects of UV rays can also come from an accumulation of small exposures, like walking your dog each day or driving in your car.
Now that beautiful weather is here, we’re all itching to get out of the house more. When you do, practice sun safety! Remember the Skin Cancer Foundation’s tips to protect your skin in the sun:
In addition to practicing these sun safety tips, consider scheduling an annual check-up with a dermatologist.
This article was originally published on IBX Insights.
I joined Independence Blue Cross in 2015 after practicing Geriatrics for nearly 30 years. In my current role I function as the medical liaison to our Government markets team, serving as a subject matter expert on clinical medicine and healthcare delivery. What I love about my new position is the opportunity to help an entire population of people through the benefits of their health plan.