Many people love the sun, but it’s important to treat it with a healthy respect. Even if only outside for brief periods or all day, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes, according to the CDC, while the Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers, and about 86 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Take the following simple but important precautions to prevent these risks.
Use Sunscreen –
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, both types of UV rays, UVA and UVB cause skin cancer so a broad-spectrum sunscreen is recommended with an SPF – or sun protective factor – of 15 or higher, even on cloudy or cool days. A SPF 30 is recommended for extended stays outdoors, with reapplication every two hours to continue that protection.
Be sure to check the sunscreen’s expiration date, and apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to fully bind to the skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that in order to get the full SPF of a sunscreen, apply about 1 oz., or about a shot glass full. During a long day at the beach, one person should use around one quarter to one half of an 8 oz. bottle.
Cover up – The CDC recommends using clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and skirts made from tightly woven fabric to protect from the sun. They also recommend wearing a wide brim hat of tightly woven fabric to protect the face, ears, and the back of the neck, avoiding straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. Wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays protect eyes and the tender skin around them. Wrap-around sunglasses work best. Sunglasses can also reduce the risk of cataracts.
This month be sure to register and attend the webinar, Taking Care of Your Skin. Learn more about the importance of maintaining healthy skin. For a full description and registration information, see the sidebar to the right. If you’re unable to attend you can log on to the website at a later time to view the archived presentation.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR SKIN
Having healthy skin is important not only for your appearance, but because your skin performs so many important tasks for your body. This session will provide an understanding of the various functions of the human skin, some of the common disorders of the skin, and how to maintain good skin health.
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