While some exposure to the sun is healthy, it can have extremely damaging effects. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. It is extremely important to know the risks associated with too much sun exposure and how to protect yourself and your family from those risks.
There are several ways to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays, including…
Wearing Protective Clothing
Wearing protective clothing like long sleeved shirts and pants that are made of lightweight, tightly woven fabric, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses/protective eyewear can provide protection from the sun’s UV rays. When selecting eyewear, make sure the UV protection label is visible.
Avoiding Direct Exposure
Seeking shaded areas or using umbrellas, when appropriate, can help you avoid direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Also, keep in mind that UV rays are strongest between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, so, if you’re going to be outside during this peek time, seek shade to avoid direct exposure to the sun.
One of the best ways to avoid too much sun exposure is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Generously applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30 to all exposed skin can be very effective in providing some protection form the sun’s harmful rays. When swimming or doing activities that make you sweat, apply sunscreen every two hours after the activity. Using sunscreen with an SFP of 15 or higher is recommended for daily use. Don’t forget to also apply sunscreen to your face every day to help keep skin damage and wrinkles at bay. Using a lip balm with sunscreen will protect your lips as well.
Learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions to protect you and your family from the sun’s UV rays can help you enjoy the sun and outdoor summer activities safely.