Stay Sun Safe During UV Protection Month
Every July, we bask in the warmth of the sun’s rays. For some parts of the country, it’s a much-anticipated welcome from the long, cold months of winter. Although, even if you’re fortunate to live in a warm and sunny climate all year long, July ushers in even warmer days as the sun moves closer to Earth.
While we celebrate these glorious days of summer by spending as much time outdoors as possible, soaking in those rays poolside, along the beach, or hiking, it’s important to remember to protect your skin and eyes from the damaging effects of the sun during UV Safety Awareness Month.
As you likely already know, the sun emits radiation known as UV-A and UV-B rays. UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin. UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin.
By taking proper precautionary steps to protect yourself and your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the sun and outdoors safely without damage to your eyes, premature skin aging, or skin cancer. Minimize the risk that comes with sun exposure by following these three simple guidelines by Jeffrey Sterling, MD, a national leader in community-based medicine, healthcare, and public health.
- Choosing the right sunscreen is so important. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and should protect against both UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Apply your sunscreen frequently. When out in the sun, it’s important that you apply at least one ounce of sunscreen every two hours. You should apply it more often if you are sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
- Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective clothing to shade your skin.
By taking proper precautions, you can enjoy the beautiful, sunny days of summer without fear of sun damage to your skin and eyes.