This spring brought some unfortunate weather to the Pine Belt and we are finally getting glimpses of the more favorable side of this season.
But before you go out to have your fun in the sun, Hattiesburg Clinic's Dermatology South Dermatologist, Dr. William Waller said keep to these things in mind.
"All skin types, all ages need to use sunscreen or sun protection," Waller said.
Waller said people always ask him what they can do to have better skin.
"The first thing to do is to make sure you are wearing sunscreen," Waller said.
He said you need to look for two components in your sunscreen.
"You are wanting one that says Broad Spectrum, and you also want to look for a SPF of at least 30," Waller said.
Waller explained SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, measures how well your sunscreen will protect you.
"The SPF of 30 is important to know how much it's protecting you from a burn which is caused by VB rays," Waller said.
He said SUVA can come from artificial light like tanning beds, which causes aging, and that is where Broad Spectrum is needed.
"So, not only are you protected against sun damage but skin cancer in general," Waller said.
Waller warns when shopping for sunscreen, do not be fooled by the high numbers of SPF.
"When you think you are getting 100 or 110 SPF, you are really not getting much more protection than you are from a 45," Waller said.
Waller said if your skin does not tolerate chemical sunscreen, then look for protection that has physical blocking agents like zinc or titanium.
"They micronize them, they put them in a sunscreen base where you can't see them but they actually repel and block the sun rays," Waller said.
He said you can always add another barrier with protective clothing like hats and long sleeves.
Finally, Waller explained that the sun is at its harshest from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., so be sure to to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.
His last tip is if your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.