As North Dakota transitions into spring, residents are facing an unexpected adversary: sunburn. Despite the mild temperatures, the sun's intensity can catch many off guard, leading to painful burns and potential long-term damage to the skin.

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While North Dakotans may be accustomed to bundling up against the state's frigid winters, the arrival of spring brings a new set of challenges. With longer daylight hours and clearer skies, the sun's rays become increasingly potent, even when the thermometer doesn't climb to scorching heights.

Even before spring was fully upon us, the combination of the sun's angle and the reflection of UV rays off snow and ice remnants can result in significant sun exposure, heightening the risk of sunburn.

This phenomenon is particularly prevalent during the spring months, when individuals are eager to spend more time outdoors after being cooped up indoors during the winter.

One factor contributing to the heightened risk of sunburn is the lack of foliage on trees and shrubs, which typically provide natural shade. Without this protection, individuals may find themselves more exposed to direct sunlight for longer periods, increasing their susceptibility to burns.

Activities such as gardening, outdoor sports, and even leisurely walks can result in prolonged sun exposure without proper precautions.

To combat this risk, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, wear protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses, and seek shade during peak sun hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

As North Dakotans embrace the arrival of spring, it's crucial to remain vigilant against the sun's harmful rays, even on cooler days. By taking proactive measures to protect their skin, individuals can enjoy the season safely and minimize the risk of sunburn and related health complications.

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