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How long can I be in the sun before it is damaging to my skin?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
There is no defined amount of safe sun exposure. Anytime your skin is exposed to the sun's UV rays, it's at risk for damage. Although it varies depending on skin type, you can experience sunburn in a matter of minutes if the UV Index Scale is too high.

Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing to safeguard your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
This is extremely variable depending on your genetics. The darker and thicker your skin, the longer the sun exposure needed to start sun radiation damage. For freckling individuals, sun exposure may cause damage very quickly, even in less than 5 minutes. This is why it is very important to protect your skin with sunblock when you are outside.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.