Summer’s finally here, and for millions of Southern California residents this means fun in the sun, beach time, tan bodies and enjoying all the great outdoor activities that the southland has to offer.

The warm sun beckons us with its natural vitamin D output, something that people crave and are naturally driven to.

However, it is important to note that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and staying out in the sun too long raises your risk for skin cancer. The sun produces ultraviolet radiation which can be extremely damaging to the skin.

There is good news though. There are preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun and still enjoy the great outdoor activities that southern California has to offer.

Here are 7 must read tips for staying safe in the sun.

  1. Take advantage of the sun’s non-peak hours. Before 10 am and after 4 pm the sun’s rays aren’t as intense as they are the rest of the day.
  2. Use sunscreen. Even if the sun is hidden behind the clouds, the effects of the ultraviolet rays can be harmful. So, even on cloudy days, any part of your body that is exposed to the sun should be covered in SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen every two hours.
  3. Don’t use tanning beds. It is not a safe option.dr kamrava
  4. If you are spending an entire day in the sun, use loose fitting clothes that breath and that cover your skin.
  5. Use large hats that cover your face, neck and shoulders.
  6. Protect your eyes and lips too. Make sure to apply SPF 15 lip balm and wear dark sunglasses that protect against UV rays.
  7. Over the counter and prescription medications can increase the skin’s vulnerability to the sun. Read the medication label carefully and pay close attention to your body.