July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and while we all love to take in those warm summer rays, everyone must remember to protect their skin and eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. It is great to spend time outdoors but also very important to be safe! By learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions to protect you and your family from UV rays, everyone can enjoy the sun and outdoors safely.
Effects of Sun Exposure
The sun emits radiation known as UV-A and UV-B rays. Both types can damage your eyes and skin. UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin, and UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin. Here are the harmful things unprotected sun exposure can do:
- Premature aging of the skin
- Cause vision problems and damage to your eyes
- Skin cancer
- Suppression of the immune system
How to Minimize Sun Exposure Risks
Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the risk that comes with sun exposure.
Stay in the Shade
The sun’s glare is most intense at midday. Staying in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will further protect your skin. The sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter. For this reason, it is important to stay protected throughout the year.
Wearing a hat with a wide brim or other shade-protective clothing can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses for eye protection.
Use Proper Sunscreen
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UV-A) and Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays.
When out in the sun, you must apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. You should apply it more often if you are sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
Taking the proper precautions and following this advice will allow you and your loved ones to enjoy the sun. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any problems after being in the sun.
At BEK Medical, we recognize how important it is to take care of our bodies so they can function properly and keep us doing the activities we love. That is why we offer high-quality medical equipment for all stages and phases of your life.