Summer is here, and so are the perfect beachy sunny days. However, did you know that it is super important to protect your skin from the effects that UV rays bring? The U.S Department of Health and Human Services has titled July UV Safety Month. You should also be protecting yourself year-round from the sun using shades, sunblock, hats, and more.
According to the CDC, there are three types of radiation such as ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer, and protection from exposure is crucial. Radiation is 1the emission of energy from any source- in this case, the sun. However, this can also come from tanning and even welding torches. Radiation comes with very high and low radio and gamma rays.
Not all sun exposure is detrimental to your health. Some benefits include the production of vitamin D, an essential vitamin for health. This vitamin helps absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Ideally, you should be spending 5-15 minutes and up to 2-3 times a week under the sun.
Fortunately, protecting yourself from the sun can be as easy as pie. Here are some ways to minimize the risks and issues associated with sun exposure.
Use protective clothing and eye protection. Wearing a hat and shade protective clothing can go a long way. Sunglasses that protect you from 99% UV rays is essential to keep your eyes from getting damaged.
Stay in the shade during midday hours. From 10 am - 4 pm, your skin can become easily damaged due to the increased reflection of sunlight which can, in turn, increase sunburn.
Get the right sunscreen. The USDA suggests purchasing sunscreen labeled SPF of at least 15 to protect against UVA and UVB rays. When in the sun, apply sunscreen every 2 hours or more when you are active and swimming.
Stay away from tanning beds. No tanning is safe. The CDC states that indoor tanning can exponentially increase melanoma and cancerous cells. Premature aging and immune system suppression can also occur.
Check your skin. An annual check-up with your doctor is important! Talk to your healthcare provider today about your skin, any moles, or simply how to be more protected according to your skin.
This summer, have all the fun in the sun as you want but also remember to be extra cautious so you can enjoy summers for many more years to come.
*Sources: CDC.gov, USDA.gov