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You probably know that it’s important to wear sunscreen on your face and body to protect your skin from the sun. Were you aware that the delicate skin on your lips make them particularly vulnerable to the sun? In fact, your lower lip is 12 times more likely to be affected by burning from the sun and skin cancer than the top lip.1
Protect your lips with the daily use of a lip balm or lipstick that offers a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. Because you eat, drink and may lick your lips, you’ll need to reapply often. A good rule to follow is to reapply every hour. While ultraviolet rays are most intense during the summer months, the use of an SPF lip balm protects your lips year-round and can help keep them moist during cooler weather.
Prevent sunburn by seeking the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and protective clothing helps protect your lips, skin and eyes from the burning rays.2
Symptoms of sunburned lips typically last 3 – 5 days:3
Treatments for sunburned lips:
In addition to protecting your lips from the sun, your lips and the rest of your mouth – gums, cheeks and tongue should be checked regularly for oral cancer. Dentists are trained to spot specific signs and symptoms of more than 120 diseases during a routine exam, including oral cancer.
Early detection is key so be on the lookout for these warning signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
If any symptom bothers you or lasts more than two weeks, contact your dentist.
Factors that increase your risk of oral cancer include the use of tobacco (all kinds), heavy alcohol use, excessive sun exposure to the lips, a sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) and a weakened immune system.4
Protect yourself and your family and enjoy the summer!
Need a dentist near home, work or your kids' school? With one of the largest networks in the country, we make it easy to find a dentist who fits your location and your schedule.
*All TruAssure dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks.
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