With July being UV Safety Month, this is a good time to provide some tips that can help protect you from ultraviolet (UV) rays and minimize your chances of developing skin cancer. You do not need to avoid the sun completely, of course, but be smart when you are outside. Not only will you reduce your UV risk, you will also lower the chances of suffering a severe sunburn that may necessitate a trip to your nearest emergency medical center.
Shade is a Good Thing
UV rays are typically at their peak between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid being in direct sunlight during those hours. One way of telling how strong the sun’s rays are is by using what is known as the “shadow test.” The rays of the sun are at their strongest when you are taller than your shadow.
Wear the Right Clothing
Even though it may seem like it would be too hot to cover yourself properly while outside during the summer, you need to wear as much clothing as you can to cover your skin. Different clothes will provide you with different levels of protection from UV rays. For example, dark-colored clothing will protect you better than light-colored clothes. Fabrics that are tightly woven are more protective than those that are loosely woven.
Choose Your Sunscreen Wisely
The best defense against UV rays, of course, is sunscreen. But you cannot simply grab the first bottle or can off the shelf and assume you will get the right protection. You need to find products that offer protection against both UVA rays and UVB rays, and have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30.
In addition, if you go for a swim or participate in an activity where you will sweat a lot, you need to re-apply your sunscreen when you get out of the water or dry off. There is no such thing as a “sweat-proof” or “waterproof” sunscreen. In fact, manufacturers are no longer allowed to put those terms on their labeling.
If you would like more information on protecting yourself from UV rays, or you have a medical condition that requires immediate attention, contact your nearest Questcare Medical Clinic location. One of our skilled staff members will be ready to help.