Do I Need to Wear Sunscreen When It's Cloudy?

The answer to that question is yes. But why?

The sun is shining more often these days in east Tennessee and the temperatures are rising steadily into the 90s. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville wants to offer some insight into the effects of the sun and how to protect your skin.

Is the Sun Really That Dangerous?

The sun emits ultraviolet rays with two types—ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. While the two types of rays work slightly differently, both can cause damage to your skin and lead to an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

In fact, UVA rays in particular are known to make it through to earth even on overcast days. Some 80% of these rays pass through the clouds, which is why it’s vitally important to protect your skin even on days that the sun isn’t shining as brightly.

Ways Sun Can Be Damaging

  • Causes sunburns
  • Increases signs of aging
  • Promotes wrinkles and skin spots
  • Puts you at risk of heat stroke and heat rash
  • Increases risk of skin cancer

How Can I Protect My Skin in the Sun?

So, now that we’ve established that the sun can harm your skin, what can you do to keep your skin safe? You probably know sun safety rule No. 1—wear sunscreen on all exposed areas of your skin.

Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it at least 30 minutes before going outside. You’ll also need to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and more often if you’re sweating or swimming.

Other Sun Safety Basics

  • Steer clear of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Seek shade when outdoors.
  • Be sure to choose broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your ears, scalp and neck.
  • Wear a lip balm containing SPF to protect your lips.

Feeling less than your best? Schedule an AFC TeleCare appointment with AFC Urgent Care Knoxville to get the care you need from the comfort of home.