Did you know that July is UV Safety Awareness Month?
Are you wondering what the best way to enjoy the sun is without the damage it can cause?
Summertime brings vacations, beach time, and lots of swimming. So what ways do healthy lifestyle tips bring awareness to UV safety?
1. Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light. Different types of UV radiation operate on different wavelengths. Ultraviolet-A radiation is present year-round and associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. At the same time, ultraviolet B is more present in the summer and associated with sunburn and skin damage.
2. Make sure your sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect against both forms of UV radiation.
3. Choose an SPF of 30 or Higher.
4. Apply Early, Apply Often. With sunscreen, you aren't one and done, especially if you are going to be swimming. Remember, it can take a half-hour for your skin to absorb the sunscreen, and applying it for at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun is best.
5. Don't rely on sunscreen alone.
- Wide-brimmed hats.
- Sunglasses with UV protection.
- Lip balm rated SPF 30 or higher.
- Long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Special sun-protective clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating.
- Keep an emulsion cream designed for burn care handy just in case a burn occurs.
- Shade. Find a tree, canopy, or umbrella to provide shade.
6. What's the Hottest Time of Day? The hottest time of the day is around 3:00 p.m. Remember that even on a cloudy day, UV rays can still cause skin damage and sunburn.
The most common risks of skin injuries — are sunburns after short-term exposure and skin cancer after long-term exposure — and eye injuries. It's also essential to speak to your doctor about UV exposure to check if you're on any medication that could cause your eyes or skin to be more sensitive to UV rays.
Suppose you don't follow healthy lifestyle tips for UV safety. In that case, you could experience skin cell damage that often leads to several skin cancers, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma.
Those 50 years or older have a higher risk of melanoma. Other factors like a weakened immune system, having had different types of cancer, and taking certain medications increase the risk.
The CDC states that more than half of all cases of melanoma develop in people aged 65 or older. In its article, Many Older Adults Don't Protect Their Skin From the Sun. The CDC revealed that nearly 18% of older adults don't use sun protection regularly, and even higher percentages only take partial measures to protect themselves. Given the higher risk to older adults, practicing UV safety is particularly important. The CDC recommends that communities help reduce the risk by providing shaded areas for older people to avoid direct sun exposure.
Practicing these healthy lifestyle tips allows you to have fun in the sun and be outdoors.
Follow these tips year-round, not just in the summer; your skin and eyes will thank you for it!