How to practice proper sun care during Ultraviolet Awareness Month

For being six billion years old, the sun has certainly been in the news a lot lately. With rising rates of skin cancer throughout the U.S. and the warm weather season on the horizon, May has been named Ultraviolet Awareness Month to educate individuals and families of the potential dangers of excess sun exposure on their skin, eyes and other sensitive areas.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), it’s far easier to protect you and your loved ones from the dangers of UVA and UVB rays, which are the most dangerous light wavelengths that contribute to skin and eye issues.

Here are a few ways that you can put your FSA to good use, as well as some practical tips to enjoy fun in the sun all summer long:

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Invest in broad-spectrum sunscreen

Many FSA account holders are unaware that they can use their tax-free funds on FSA eligible items like sunscreen to safeguard their loved ones during the spring and summer. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests investing in a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, as well as a product that offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. Additionally, if you’re going to be spending time by the water or participating in activities that could cause perspiration, opt for a water resistant product that will provide protection all day long.

Protective eye wear

While you may go the extra mile to protect your skin during the summer months, your eyes could be just as susceptible to damage from UV rays. Berkeley Eye Center suggests always wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection, as well as being aware of any prescriptions that could result in increased sensitivity to sunlight. The sun’s rays can cause potential damage to the eye’s cornea, resulting in future eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Eyes can even become sunburned in some cases, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep your eyes protected.

Protect your skin with clothing

Your clothing choices can have a tangible impact on your sun exposure during the spring and summer. According to the American Cancer Society, a good rule of thumb is that if you can see through a fabric, UV rays will be able to penetrate as well, so it’s best to opt for dark colors that absorb the most light. Of course, this may not be the most comfortable choice during the summer when temperatures are peaking. A good compromise is to combine sunscreen with clothing that has a significant UV Protection Factor (UPF). These ratings are often found on the tags of clothes and utilize a scale of 15 to 50+, and they can provide your sun protection regimen a welcome boost in the coming months.

The summer weather will be here before you know it, so make sure you visit FSAstore.com to explore our huge selection of sun care items and other FSA eligible products.

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