IDAHO — As the weather continues to heat up, more people are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, but people often forget how harmful the sun can be to the skin.
Executive Medical Director of Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Joe Badolato says people should spend time outdoors, but take extra precautions when sitting in the sun.
"A lot of people will say well that's how I get my Vitamin D, is going out in the sun. Well, that's partly true. Certainly, your body can convert sunlight to vitamin D, but there are safer ways to get vitamin D," Badolato says.
Some safer ways of getting vitamin D include eating vitamin D packed foods and supplements.
Experts say if you don't take the right precautions, UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. You should stay in the shade if possible, wear wide-brim hats, or wear tightly fitted woven clothes.
Also, which sunscreen should you grab? Badolato says SPF is the minimum number you should wear, but to stay on the safe, you should always have SPF 30.
"It's not going to be harmful. You're going to get more protection with 30. So that's advice I've always given, but 15 is the absolute minimum," Badolato.
It's also common to think if you can't see a sunburn, then you are safe. But, your skin can be damaged up to the microscopic level.
"Even if you can't see the damage, if you look at it under a high-powered microscope at the blood vessels, there's actually damage," Badolato says.
To find out more ways to protect yourself from the sun, visit their website.