Who’s ready to start enjoying some fun in the sun and exploring everything the Smokies have to offer? We all are!

But before you head out into the sun, our team at AFC Urgent Care Sevierville wants to offer a few tips on how to protect your skin.

##What to Know About Sun Safety

Are you heading outside to enjoy the warmer days? Whether going to Dollywood for the day or just enjoying your own backyard, it’s important to make sure you’re protected.

#####Step 1: Slather on the Sunscreen

Make sure you’re wearing sunscreen on all exposed skin as you make your way outside. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors to allow it time to absorb.

Also, make sure you reapply the sunscreen at least every two hours. If you’re swimming or sweating, you’ll want to reapply more often.

#####Step 2: Know the Sun’s Schedule

Sunscreen is powerful, but the sun is even more powerful.

If possible, try and avoid the outdoors between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.

If you can’t avoid the outdoors during that time, seek shade when feasible.

#####Step 3: Dress the Part

Did you know that your clothing can also provide some level of protection against the sun? It’s a good complement to sunscreen.

Darker clothing is more protective than lighter-colored clothing, and you can also purchase clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating for extra protection.

Add a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your head, neck and eyes.

##Spotting Signs of Skin Cancer

Although these prevention techniques are vital to helping to reduce your chance of skin cancer, regular skin cancer screenings are also important.

Annual checkups with a doctor are key, but you should also be familiar with your skin and check it regularly for changes.

What should you be looking for? Follow the ABCDEs:

  • A is for Asymmetry—Are the two halves of a mole or other mark different?
  • B is for Border—Are the edges irregular, ragged, notched or blurred?
  • C is for Color—Is the color the same all over? Or is it different shades of brown or black?
  • D is for Diameter—Is the area larger than 6 millimeters across?
  • E is for Evolving—Is the mole changing size, shape or color?

If you are unsure or can answer yes to any of the questions above, have an evaluation with a medical provider.

##Enjoy the Sun

Slather on the sunscreen and then head to enjoy the fun this May!

The FunFest Marketplace is taking place May 10–12 at Music Road Hotel Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public!

In addition, if you are a Ford person, then you will not want to miss out on cruising through the Smokies by attending the Grand National F-100 Ford Reunion May 17–19.

Did you get too much sun today? Visit AFC Urgent Care Sevierville for a treatment plan for your burn.