You know protecting your skin from the sun is important. But you might not know just how important a role sunscreen plays in helping you do just that or what other sun-protection options you have.

More than one-third of Americans report getting sunburned each year. And while using sunscreen properly can help prevent sunburns, that isn’t all it can do. Whether you can see or feel a sunburn, ultraviolet (UV) sunrays can cause cellular damage that increases your risk of cancer and photo-aging.

But what kind of sunscreen should you choose? Do you need to wear it every day, even in the winter? What else do you need to know?

On the For Health’s Sake podcast, dermatologist Daniel Krakora said that protection from the sun isn’t just about the type of sunscreen you use. It’s also about how you use it and the other steps you take to protect yourself.

Other sun protection topics we covered on this podcast episode include:

  • The best kinds of clothes for sun protection
  • How much sunscreen to use
  • How often to reapply sunscreen
  • Whether sunscreen is better as a spray or cream
  • Whether you should wear sunscreen every day
  • Best methods for sunburn relief
  • Risk factors for developing skin cancer
  • What age to start getting checks for skin cancer

Keep your skin safe and healthy

An important thing to remember is that sunscreen and sun-protective clothing is for everyone.

“Everyone, regardless of whether they’re light-skinned or dark-skinned, is subject to the adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation, and can benefit from sunscreen use,” Dr. Krakora says. “But those who have lighter skin types are going to be more susceptible to the effects of ultraviolet radiation.”

Along with taking steps to protect yourself from the sun, you should be paying attention to your skin, too.

From keeping an eye out for new skin spots to unusually shaped moles, if you notice any changes in your skin, make a dermatology appointment for a skin check. In addition, if you have lighter skin, a personal history of high sun exposure, or family history of skin cancer, you should be having regular skin checks.