As the weather warms and families spend more time outdoors, The Florida Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery wants to remind Floridians about the importance of sun protection. Please remember that these are guidelines only. It is important to see your Board Certified Dermatologist who will be best able to customize recommendations to fit your clinical situation and needs. Choosing a sunscreen: Look for one that provides “broad spectrum” protection (blocking both UVA and UVB rays), water resistance and a minimum SPF of 30. Choosing sunscreen for infants: Look for the ingredients zinc and/or titanium dioxide. When to toss: Discard sunscreen that is past its expiration date or is over two years old. Use your noggin: The best combination for protecting your head is sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Often-neglected areas are the ears, back of the neck, lips and scalp at the part in the hair. Pick the right shades: Look for sunglasses that are described as blocking 99% or 100% of UVA and UVB, or as providing UV absorption up to 400 nm. Cover up: Wear tightly woven darker clothing in the sun, as it reflects more UV rays, and look for fabrics made of nylon or Dacron, which are more protective than cotton. Beware reflections: Water, sand and even porch decks can reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun. Check your shadow: The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade. Be a role model: Teach your children good habits for sun protection. Eighty percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before age 18. African-Americans and Hispanics need protection too: People with naturally darker skin aren’t immune to the effects of the sun and can still burn. Apply and reapply: Whatever type of sunscreen you prefer (gel, cream or sprays are all good choices), be sure to reapply every two to three hours during times of prolonged exposure.