July is UV Safety Month!

It’s UV Safety Month!

July is a time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful rays and the golden sun-kissed skin that comes with it. But, while in the midst of summer, it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself from the dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The skin happens to be the body’s largest organ and is responsible for protecting us from infectious organisms, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. However, many people do not take the necessary steps to keep their skin healthy and in tip-top-shape. July is UV Safety Month, and it is our goal to provide you with knowledge on the harms of the various UV rays, as well as provide you tips on how to protect yourself during this radiant time!

How to protect your skin:

  • Wear proper clothing

Long sleeve shirts and pants are ideal but are not always feasible when the heat index begins to rise and the sun is beaming full force. Thin linens and cotton are the usual choices for comfortable clothing during this hot month. Wearing a sun hat that protects your face, ears, and neck is also a great way to stay safe.

  • Go for the shade

Avoid prolonged sun exposure when you can. Spend time underneath a tree or umbrella when available to help reduce the harm from UV rays. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Daylight Saving Time are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States, so be sure to take extra precaution during this time.

  • Apply sunscreen

Sunscreen is composed of several ingredients that help prevent UV rays from damaging the skin. By absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun’s rays, sunscreen can help protect you for hours (depending on the SPF).

As a side note, use extra caution when near reflective surfaces or high altitudes.

Know when to protect your skin. Know the UV Index:

UV Scale

Established by the World Health Organization, the UV Index Scale is used to help people understand and practice sun safety. You can also use a Sunburn map to help identify the areas most affected by UV rays on an hourly basis.

I’m sunburned, now what?:

If you have already fallen victim to the harsh UV rays, you may find that it’s impossible to “reverse” the damage. However, there are ways to help treat your skin and restore it to a natural, burn-free state. From the bath water you use to the type of food you eat, there are many methods that can help you to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by sun damage.

Protect your eyes, too:

Like the skin, eyes can also be harmed from ultraviolet rays. Too much exposure to UV light can cause eye diseases such as developing cataracts, growths on the eye, and some types of cancers. Wearing UV protective sunglasses and being aware of these risk factors can help keep your eyes safe and your vision keen.

Although July is UV Safety Month and the dangers of ultraviolet radiation is at its peak during the summer season, you should also consider wearing sunscreen year-round for extra protection.

Always stay safe in the sun!

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072439/

https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/prevention.htm

http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html

http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index3.html

http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/sunscreens-explained

http://www.americanskin.org/resource/safety.php

https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-scale-1

http://sunburnmap.com/

http://www.prevention.com/beauty/natural-sunburn-cures

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts

http://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/spf.htm

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