(SAN DIEGO) - This 4th of July hundreds of people will visit emergency rooms due to extreme sunburns, so if you're one of the thousands of San Diegans who's planning on  spending the day outside this holiday, it’s very important to know the best ways to take care of our skin to avoid short and long term consequences.

A recent report found that people with sunburn-related conditions led to more than 33,000 visits (33,826, to be exact) to emergency departments in the U.S. in 2013, which added up to a whopping $11.2 million in costs -- all of which could have been prevented. 

Dr. Melanie Palm MD, director of Art of Skin MD, offers these preventative tips to keep you and your family sun-safe this summer: 

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
  • ABCDE’s of Melanoma: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving

Art of Skin MD is a highly respected, nationally-recognized center for skin care and cosmetic dermatology located in Solana Beach, CA. It is known for its knowledge and expertise with the most current skincare products and technology, as well as its dedication to the patient experience. 

For more information about sun safety, Dr. Melanie Palm, or Art of Skin MD, click here.