July is UV Safety Month!
July is a time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful rays and the golden sun-kissed skin that comes with it. But, while in the midst of summer, it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself from the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself during this radiant time!
Go for the shade – Avoid or limit sun exposure during the hours where the sun’s UV rays are most intense—between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wear protective clothing – Wearing long sleeve shirts and pants are ideal. Linens and thin cottons are probably the most comfortable fabrics during the warm summer months—as well as a broad-brimmed hat that shades the face, ears, and neck.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen – Generously applying water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value of at least 15 or higher to shield against sun-induced skin problems. The “broad spectrum” variety protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Tip: Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming and sweating, even if it’s labeled “water-resistant”.
Pick up those stylish sunglasses – Effective sunglasses should block glare and 99 to 100% of UV rays and have a wraparound shape to protect the eyes from all angles.
It’s recommended to routinely check your skin for any changes. Birthmarks, new moles and marks, especially, should be consistently examined for any alterations in size, shape and color or if they look and feel differently from other moles and marks on your body. This includes new red or darker-colored, flaky patches that may be a little raised, a new flesh-colored firm bump or a sore that doesn’t heal.
Know when to protect your skin.
Know the UV Index:
Established by the World Health Organization, the UV Index Scale is used to help people understand and practice sun safety. You can also use a Sunburn map to help identify the areas most affected by UV rays on an hourly basis.
Who are Most Susceptible?
There are, unfortunately, certain types who are more prone to sunburns. Individuals, who are fair-skinned, have light colored hair (blond, red, or light brown), have freckles, and have light colored eyes (blue or green). In addition, some medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to UV rays and some lower or suppress the immune system, which makes your skin more susceptible to sunburns and other sun-induced ailments.