• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Sun safety during spring break

March 22, 2018

For many students and families, spring break means it's time to go somewhere warm and sunny. Getting some sun might be good for the soul, but it also can be bad for the body — in particular, your skin. Sun exposure increases your risk of skin cancer.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, has tips to keep your skin safe and healthy in the sun.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:58) is available in the downloads. Read the script.

It is spring break time, and many people are headed to warmer climates to get much-needed R & R and some sun, which means you could get sunburned. Sunburns can be painful, and they can increase your risk of skin cancer. So it's important to slather on the sunscreen and expose your skin to the sun gradually. But, with all the different products out there, how do you know what number sun protection factor (SPF) to use — 15, 30 or 50-plus? Dr. Davis has recommendations.

"If you'd like a little bit of sun exposure as you go on spring break, then what you can do is start off with an SPF 30 or an SPF 50 bottle, apply that for the first couple days you are there, and then gradually back down to an SPF 30 or 15," says Dr. Davis.

She says the sun is toxic to the skin, so be sure to use that sunscreen and remember to reapply it every two hours and after you sweat or swim. And kids under 6 months should stay out of the sun — period.

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