Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Fredericksburg to enjoy everything the Texas Hill Country has to offer from the wildflowers to the many state parks, hiking trails, horseback riding, wine country and even the famous bat cave at Old Tunnel State Park.
But all of that fun in the sun can come at a price to your skin if you get too much sun exposure. While you’re out enjoying the wonderful warm weather, shopping along historic Main Street and The Magic Mile, fishing in Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park, or biking the back roads, always remember to limit your sun exposure and protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Here are five simple ways to limit your sun exposure in Fredericksburg, Texas, while still enjoying the beautiful outdoors this spring and summer:
#1: Always wear sunscreen.
Too much sun exposure can cause serious and long-term damage to your skin including a dramatically increased risk of developing skin cancer. Before heading outside, always apply sunscreen. The best choice is a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Remember to reapply it every two to three hours, and if you are headed to the pool or taking a day trip to the river, let your sunscreen fully sink in for at least 15 minutes before jumping in the water.
#2: Cover your skin with protective clothing.
Whether you’re outside rock climbing at Enchanted Rock, taking in a horse race, or just enjoying brunch on a Sunday afternoon at one of Fredericksburg’s many wonderful sidewalk eateries, cover your skin with a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses whenever you can. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
#3: Explore in the morning or late afternoon.
The most dangerous part of the day for sun exposure is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. These are peak sun hours when UV rays are the most intense. If you are heading out to the Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival, the WWII living history re-enactment at the National Museum of the Pacific War, or going to the horse races, try to plan your visit outside of peak hours.
When you know you will be outside for long periods of time during the middle of the day, take extra precautions to protect your skin. Wear sunscreen, seek shade whenever you can and always drink plenty of water to keep from getting dehydrated.
#4: Have it made in the shade.
Fredericksburg isn’t all about the outdoors. There is also plenty of fun to be had indoors and in the shade! Take a break from the sun and cool off at the Hill Country Film Festival or take a ride along U.S. Highway 290 on the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290. Stop and visit each winery for a home-away-from-home wine getaway. First Friday Art Walks are held on the first Friday of every month where you can tour Fredericksburg’s vibrant art scene and stroll through historic downtown galleries until 8 p.m.
#5: Watch the UV index.
The UV Index (UVI) was designed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization to measure the level of UV radiation at any given time. The higher the UVI, the greater the potential for UV radiation damage to your skin and eyes due to sun exposure and the less time it takes for harm to occur. When the UV Index predicts exposure levels of moderate or above, always take special care to protect your skin while outside to avoid overexposure.
Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer
Everyone loves the sun, but the truth is that sun exposure can be very dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. Skin cancer is very common and is almost always caused by the damaging effects of the sun. In fact, more than 90% of all skin cancer is caused by long-term exposure to radiation.
In addition to increasing your risk of developing skin cancer, UV rays can also change the texture and appearance of your skin with premature wrinkling and other signs of aging. Though there are several available treatment options to improve the appearance of your skin, sun damage is irreversible.
The good news is that UV exposure can be controlled by limiting how much time you spend outside in the sun and protecting your skin while you’re out having fun.
To learn more about how to limit sun exposure in Fredericksburg, protect your skin and prevent skin cancer, make an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists today.