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Many of the medications used to treat your Pedi IBD can make your skin photosensitive or very sensitive to sunlight.  This means that you are more likely to get a serious sunburn or rash when in the sun. It also means that it can be helpful for you to use sun protection.

sunSunscreen is a way of protecting your skin from the sun. It protects your skin by absorbing and reflecting UVA or UVB rays. Broad-spectrum sunscreens help to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

Sunscreens come with an SPF or Sun Protection Factor label. This lets you know the amount of sunburn protection you are getting, like SPF15, 30 or 45. A broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher can usually give you good protection.

You can apply sunscreen about 20 minutes before you’re going to be out in the sun. This will give the sunscreen enough time to be absorbed by your skin. Use about 1 ounce every 2 hours on all areas of exposed skin as well as your lips, ears and back of the neck. Remember that you can apply sunscreen more often if you’re swimming or sweating. A small 5-ounce tube of sunscreen is usually enough for one person to use for a day at the beach.

In addition to sunscreen, sun protection can come in a variety of other ways. On very sunny summer days, you can try not to spend as much time outside during peak sun hours. If you are going to be outside, you can try to find some shade or wear a protective cover up or hat to help keep down the amount of direct sun exposure.

You can also get the UV Index daily forecast for your area or sign up to receive email alerts that tell you when the UV rays in your area are exceptionally high. It’s important to remember that water and sand can reflect incoming UV rays and increase the amount of sun you get in a day. Knowing the UV forecast can help you to best decide what types of sun protection to use.

Here’s one other thing to think about- because our bodies get Vitamin D from sunlight, keeping out of the sun and using sun protection can affect your Vitamin D levels. It’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about their recommendations for sun protection as well as the effect it may have on your Vitamin D intake.