Charleston Dermatology Blog

How to Practice Sun Safety While Boating

  • skincare-tips

There’s nothing like spending a day relaxing out on the water. However, your days on the boat pose a real danger that you can’t afford to forget about. The everyday risk of overexposure to UV rays is heightened many times over when you’re on the water. 

Not only are the sun’s rays beaming down on you constantly, but those same rays are also being reflected back at you by the water and even the surfaces on your boat. As a result, your exposure to rays that cause sunburn, sun spots, wrinkles and even skin cancer dramatically increase while boating. That being the case, practicing sun safety is crucial for protecting your skin and health.  

3 Sun Safety Tips For Boaters 

Make sure to follow these 3 sun safety tips while boating. 

1. Cover Up!

While they’re fine for brief periods of time, bathing suits that leave much skin uncovered should not be worn all day.  Keeping your skin covered up as much as possible provides a much-needed layer of protection from the sun’s rays. 

You should have on hand a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt and pants. But it’s not just your arms and legs that need protection. You should also select a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off of your face, sunglasses that offer UV protection for your eyes and shoes that cover your feet. 

What if your skin is not completely covered, though? What precautions should you take?

2. Choose & Use Your Sunscreen Wisely

Whether it’s an overcast day or the sun is shining and there’s not a cloud in sight, you should wear sunscreen. It’s recommended that you choose a broad-spectrum option with an SPF of 30 or higher. It should also be water-resistant, which indicates that it will stay on your skin for a time even if you work up a sweat or get wet. 

Be sure to apply the recommended amount to exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outside so that it has time to absorb into your skin. And be diligent about reapplying every two hours, after sweating or after taking a dip in the water. This will ensure that you maintain maximum sun protection during your outing. 

3. Stay in the Shade

If your boat has a top that provides shade, use it! Stay in the shade as much as possible to protect your skin from sun damage. 

What if you have no top on your boat, though? Bimini tops can be installed fairly easily and they’re also relatively inexpensive. Especially if you’re an avid boater, this would be a worthwhile investment. 

Even if you have a top, though, it may only provide sun protection for a few passengers. That’s where extensions come in handy. There are crank-out awning options that can provide more extensive coverage and keep everyone on board safe from too much sun. 

Practicing Sun Safety: The Smart Choice

Keeping as much of your skin covered as possible, using the right sunscreen the right way and opting for shade over the sun can prevent many sun-related skin issues. 

But what if you haven’t been practicing sun safety up to this point? The reality is that you may already have some degree of sun damage. Why not schedule a checkup with one of our dermatologists to identify and address any such problems right away? Give us a call at (843) 872-3015!

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