July 3, 2019

UV Safety Awareness Month

General Health

Summer is here! Protect yourself from the suns UV rays.

Summer has finally arrived and while the sun is shining bright and the temperatures warm up, it’s a perfect time to remind people that July is UV Safety Awareness Month.

We all enjoy the warm summer rays, but many people don’t think about the damaging effects the sun’s rays can have on your skin and eyes.

The sun emits radiation that we all know as UV-A and UV-B rays. Both of these types can damage your eyes and skin. To better understand what these different UV rays can do, see below:

  • UV-B rays have short wavelengths that can reach outer layers of skin
  • UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layers of skin

Some of the harmful things that unprotected sun exposure can do include:

  1. Cause vision problems and damage to your eyes
  2. Suppression of the immune system
  3. Premature aging of the skin
  4. Skin cancer

While that can sound scary, there are many ways that you can protect yourself and others and minimize the risk that comes with sun exposure.

  1. Cover up – Wearing hats or other shade-protective clothing can partly shield your skin and harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
  2. Stay in the shade – Sun’s glare is most intense at midday. Staying close to the shade between 10am and 4pm will further protect your skin.
  3. Choose the right sunscreen – This is one of the most important aspects of protecting yourself from UV rays. The FDA has new regulations for sunscreen labeling and recommends that your sunscreen have a SPF of at least 15. It should be able to protect you from both UV-A and UV-B rays.
  4. Use the right amount of sunscreen – According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25/50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it’s important to apply at least one ounce of sunscreen every 2 hours. Apply it more often if you are sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.

By taking proper precautions and following some of these steps, you can enjoy the sun the right way, without having to worry about getting any of the risks that come along with it.

Enjoy summer!