Consumer Health: Enjoying the summer sun safely

August is Summer Sun Safety Month, which makes this a very good time to study extra about defending your self and your loved ones from the dangerous results of ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from daylight.

Summertime is right here, and for a lot of, meaning household holidays and spending time open air. Exercising and having fun with time open air are necessary for good health, and actions akin to biking, hiking, swimming and boating will be a variety of enjoyable. But these actions additionally require precautions to remain secure, healthy and shielded from the sun.

Exposure to UV radiation from the sun damages your pores and skin, and will increase your danger of growing skin cancerwrinkles and age spots. Children are particularly susceptible as a result of they have an inclination to spend extra time open air and might burn simply.

Skin most cancers, which develops totally on areas of sun-exposed pores and skin, together with the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, palms and legs, is the most typical sort of most cancers, in response to the American Cancer SocietyThis slideshow contains photographs of a number of situations brought on by sun harm — a few of which may progress to pores and skin most cancers.

Here are 4 methods you may defend your self and your loved ones from UV radiation harm:

  • Time of day
    Avoid sun publicity in the center of the day — between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. — when the UV rays are strongest. In addition, be conscious that clouds supply little safety, and UV rays can bounce off surfaces akin to water, sand, snow or pavement, resulting in elevated UV publicity.
  • Sunscreen
    Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun safety issue, or SPF, of no less than 30 — even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply each two hours — or extra typically in the event you’re swimming or perspiring. Use a beneficiant quantity of sunscreen on all uncovered pores and skin, together with your lips, the tips of your ears, and the backs of your palms and neck. And in the event you’re utilizing leftover sunscreen from yr to yr, make sure to examine the expiration date. Learn extra about selecting the finest sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses
    UV radiation can also burn your eyes. Sunburned eyes can really feel painful or gritty. Too a lot UV mild can harm the retina, lens and cornea. Sun harm to the lens can result in clouding of the lens, or cataracts. Exposure to UV mild can also enhance your danger of growing ocular melanoma. Sunburn of the cornea additionally known as snow blindness. Look for sun shades that block each varieties of UV radiation — UVA and UVB rays. Learn extra about selecting the finest sun shades.
  • Protective clothes
    Sunscreens do not present full safety from UV rays. You additionally ought to defend your pores and skin with darkish, tightly woven clothes that covers your legs and arms, and a broad-brimmed hat that gives extra safety than a baseball cap or visor. Some firms additionally promote photoprotective clothes, with a UV safety issue, or UPF, ranking much like the SPF ranking of sunscreens. Learn extra about UPF clothing.

Connect with others speaking about sun security in the Skin Health Support Group on Mayo Clinic Connect, a web-based affected person neighborhood moderated by Mayo Clinic.

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