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10 Sun Safety Tips for Kidney Patients

Skin cancer has a life-long exposure rate, so the best course of action is to take preventative measures as early in life as possible. ย Kidney transplant recipients are especially susceptible to skin cancer due to the immunosuppressant drugs they take to combat organ rejection.

Seeing a dermatologist regularly and learning to recognize abnormal spots on the body is crucial.

Limiting sun exposure during the summer can limit the risks but is difficult when there are so many fun summer activities to enjoy with your friends and family, especially on a holiday weekend. However, it is possible to be safe and still have fun in the sun, even for renal patients. Below are 10 sun safety tips to help make your summerย even better:

  1. Bring sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and reapply throughout your outdoor stay. Remember, as you sweat, your sunscreen washes away.
  2. Make sure the sunscreen you have at home is fresh. Check the expiration date on the bottle!
  3. Put on your sunscreen before you arrive at the beach or park and reapply every two hours for best protection.
  4. Make sure you bring your own bottle. If you share with friendsย it could be gone when you need it.
  5. Wear a pair of sunglasses with a high UV rating (99-100%).
  6. Be mindful of what time of day you lay in the sun, as UV radiation is strongest at midday and reflects off water and sand.
  7. Wear a hat with a brim!
  8. Lightweight summer fabrics are often ineffective against the sun, so be sure to wear sun-protective labeled clothing while at the beach.
  9. If you have sunburn, Tylenol or aloe products are safe treatments. Be advised other over-the-counter medications including Ibuprofin, Advil, Aleve, and Motrin should NOT be taken by renal patients. Additionally, some prescriptions can affect sun exposure consequences (like immunosuppressants). Consult with your doctor for personalized details.
  10. Lastly, if you can, find a spot in the shade or create your own by using a beach umbrella.

Additional Resources:

Top 10 Common SPF Mistakes
Skin Cancer Prevention


Article Revised July 17, 2019.