EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – Water parks and pools are now officially open which could mean more people spending their leisure time outside, however, the more time spent outdoors, according to people familiar, can cause more than just a sunburn if we’re unaware of proper sunscreen facts.

Not wearing sunscreen, or forgetting to reapply can cause skin, ageing, even cancer, according to Dr. Anthony Catinella, Chair of Family Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). He says to read the label on the sunscreen bottle to make sure you are getting the best protection.

UVB is the single most important one but having some UVA radiation protection can also be very helpful.

Peter Catinella, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, TTUHSC Transmountain.

With an SPF of at least thirty, that will give you at least 93% protection.

He says for best protection, wear loose fitting clothing, a wide brimmed hat, and sunglasses. He also says to apply sunscreen fifteen to twenty minutes before stepping out into the sun. The wait is to give the sunscreen the right amount of time to absorb.

Remember that not all sun is harmful and that it can actually be beneficial in its own ways.

“We all want some sunlight. One it helps prevent depression, and it’s important for us to get our vitamin D levels,” said Dr. Catinella.

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