Now that summer has officially begun, let’s look at a few ways that you can protect yourself this year.
July is also known as UV safety month, and for good reason. These rays can be deadly if exposed to for too long.
First off, what are UV rays?
UV, or Ultra Violet, radiation is a set of invisible rays that are a part of the energy that comes from the sun. There are 3 types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is the most dangerous type of radiation; however, we are protected from it by the ozone layer. UVA and UVB are the two types of radiation that can penetrate the ozone layer and affects us the most. UV rays are normally the strongest from 10:00AM-4:00PM and during the spring/summer months.
A small amount of UV radiation can be good for triggering Vitamin D and boosting your mood. However, if no precautions are taken to fight off UV rays, it can lead to things such as sunburns, skin cancer and skin damage. There are also long term effects such as wrinkled skin, dark patches and pre-cancerous skin changes and even damaged eyes.
So, here are some ways that you can protect yourself this summer:
- Slip on a shirt when possible; long sleeved shirts and pants are preferred as well as darker colored clothes to reflect the UV rays.
- Rub sunscreen all over your body, especially the face as it is known to be extra sensitive. Look carefully at your sunscreen to make sure what kind of SPF it is and whether or not it is water resistant. It also should be reapplied every 2 hours for optimum protection.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect from the glare of the sun. There are sunglasses nowadays that are specifically designed to reflect 99% of all UV rays so that your eyes do not get affected.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps; studies show an increase in melanoma (a type of skin cancer) from increased long term exposure to tanning beds and sunlamps.
- Lastly, limit your exposure. We know everyone wants to go outside and soak in the sun, but do keep in mind all the simple ways that you can protect yourself before you do!