Sun Safety Habits for Better Long-Term Health

Many misconceptions exist around sun exposure and the negative effects of UV rays on your health. We want to empower you to practice sun safety habits for better long-term health by up-leveling your sun IQ.

ABOUT ULTRAVIOLET (UV) RADIATION

The sun sends energy to our planet in a few ways: 

  1. light that you can see,
  2. infrared radiation that you can feel as heat, and 
  3. rays of Ultraviolet radiation that you can neither see nor feel.

We need exposure to the sun to create Vitamin D, but too much of any of the above energies can cause bodily damage; and UV radiation is the cause for the most common form of cancer in the United States, skin cancer.

There are three types of Ultreviolet rays:

Ultraviolet A rays (UVA)

  • UVA rays = skin aging and eye damage. 
  • They can lower your body’s ability to fight off illness, and contribute to the risk of skin cancer
  • Almost all UVA rays reach pass through the earth’s atmosphere

Ultraviolet B rays (UVB)

  • UVB rays = sunburns, skin cancer, skin aging, and snow blindness (a sunburn to your cornea that causes a temporary loss of vision). 
  • They can also lower your body’s ability to fight illness.
  • The Earth’s atmosphere shields us from most UVB rays.

Ultraviolet C rays (UVC)

  • UVC rays do not reach the Earth’s surface

THE LASTING EFFECTS OF THE SUN’S ULTRAVIOLET RAYS

You might have heard the phrase, ‘a healthy tan,’ but there is no such thing. 

DID YOU KNOW: Tanning is your body’s attempt to protect itself from being damaged by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

UV radiation damages your DNA and is the leading cause of visible signs of aging as well as skin cancer.

QUICK FACTS TO KNOW

  • 90% of visible signs of aging are due to sun exposure
  • UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes
  • Even on a cloudy day, you can be sunburned by UV radiation
  • 80% of UV rays pass through clouds on an overcast day
  • Nearly half of UV radiation is received between the hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest

TAKE THE SUN SAFETY QUIZ

Take the American Cancer Society’s sun saftey quiz and make sure you are sun-safe everyday. 

Take the quiz: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/be-safe-in-sun/sun-safety.htmld

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO LOWER YOUR UV EXPOSURE

We have listed the best ways to limit your UV exposure and risk of skin cancer on our blog. Read it here.

Top tips:

          • Limit time in the midday sun.
  • Do everything you can to not burn. Sunburns significantly increase the lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, especially for children.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand. These three materials reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Watch the UV Index. The UV Index provides important sun safety information to help people plan outdoor activities. 

SELF-CHECK FOR SKIN CANCER

Most skin cancer can be cured when caught early, so regardless of your UV ray exposure, it’s important to do a monthly self-check.

Things to look for:

  • Any skin abnormalities
  • Bumps or sores that don’t heal
  • Moles that have changed size, color or shape 

It’s important to visit your physician or a dermatologist for regular skin checks and to have any of the signs listed aboved checked out.

Request an appointment today to visit our clinic and message us with any questions you may have. We’re here to help you enjoy the sun without risk.