June is once again upon us and the Texas summer heat is beginning to settle in. As many people begin to spend more time outdoors and under the sun, Faith Community Hospital is reminding locals to protect themselves from the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays.

Hospital officials say that heat exhaustion and skin damage are two top health concerns each summer. In fact, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the nation.

Both are preventable when proper care is taken.

“UV rays are always damaging and can lead to skin cancer and make your skin age more gradually,” said Dr. Brent Shepherd, a board-certified family practice physician and clinic medical director at FCH. 

“Daily use of sunscreen SPF 30 or higher can prevent skin cancer and keep skin looking young.”

To further protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, you should cover exposed skin by seeking shade as much as possible during late mornings and afternoons.  People should also wear light-colored cotton clothing, which covers your skin and allows your body to breathe more easily. 

Hats with large brims can also protect the head, ears and neck. 

Dr. Shepherd explained people should also wear sunglasses when outdoors.  Choosing lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA- and UVB-type rays can help.

To read the complete article, see the June 13 edition of the Herald.