Sun Protection Done Right
Millions of people flock to sunny locales every year to catch some rays, but many find a painful sunburn instead when they don’t take appropriate precautions. The most important rule everyone should remember is to apply sunscreen anytime they go outdoors. The UVB and UVA rays emitted by the sun are always present, even on cloudy days.
UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and play a role in skin cancer, but UVA rays are equally dangerous. They penetrate below the outer skin level, damage DNA, hasten the aging process, and play a significant role in skin cancer. There are a variety of precautions that can be taken to have fun in the sun while minimizing the risk.
Know the Danger Zone
The sun is strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m., thus increasing the risk of sunburn. Try finding activities in the shade or in filtered sunlight during those times. Babies age 6 months and younger should be covered and kept in the shade at all times.
Sunscreen should be applied at least every two hours and every hour by those that are swimming or sweating. The SPF numbers tell how many minutes it will take the sun’s rays to begin reddening the skin, assuming that the sunscreen is applied exactly as directed. Use a high SPF
However, it’s important to understand that the lighter the skin tone, the quicker the skin will turn red. Apply 15-30 minutes before going outdoors and don’t forget to apply lip balm with a minimum of SPF 30.
Eye protection is particularly important on the beach or on a boat. Sand and water reflect the sun’s rays and increase the potential of damaging eyes and getting sunburned. People have permanently damaged their vision by spending several hours on the water without sunglasses. Choose a pair of chic shades that provide 99-100 percent UV absorption.
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants of breathable material provide an added layer of protection. Tightly woven and dark colored clothing block more of the sun’s rays. There are also garments made of specialized sun-protective fabric.
Accessorize every outfit with a wide-brimmed hat that shades the eyes, face and ears.
Play it Safe
Sunburn is painful, damages the skin, and can lead to skin cancer down the road. Individuals that take certain medications that make them more sensitive to the sun should use additional care. Fun in the sun is even more enjoyable when the proper precautions are taken and sun protection is done right.
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