Stay Sun Smart this Summer

There’s no better way to spend the summer than lying poolside or on the beach. But catching too many rays can lead to painful sunburns and other skin damage. With a few apps, you can achieve a healthy, happy summer glow without going overboard.

There are some benefits to moderate sun exposure such as Vitamin D production and lower blood pressure, but your dermatologist will also warn you about dangers like age spots and skin cancer. Apps such as Sun Alert and SunIQ let you keep a close eye on your amount of exposure by using your exact location to determine the UV Index. Using details about your specific skin type, the SPF of your preferred sunscreen and the current weather conditions, these apps gauge the strength of the sun’s rays and calculate your recommended exposure time.

UVAlert apps offer helpful reminders about when to reapply sunscreen. If you’re uncertain about what SPF-labeled product will best protect your skin, the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Buyer’s Guide provides detailed information, including safety and effectiveness ratings, on more than 1,800 products. It also offers evaluations based on health hazards, UVA protection and overall product strength.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends people perform monthly head-to-toe self-exams of their skin to identify new or changing lesions. SkinVision and Skin Scanner make it easier to keep tabs on your moles and other blemishes, archiving photos of them so that you can quickly spot suspicious changes that may be cause for concern.

Check out WebMD’s tips for other ways to stay safe in the sun this summer.