July is UV Safety Awareness Month
The sun’s UV rays are strongest during the spring and summer, prime beach vacation time for Florida residents and visitors alike. Please be sun-aware by following some of our sun-safety guidelines below.
What can you do to decrease your risk of skin cancer from the UV rays exposure?
- Stay in the shade if you’re going to be outside during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Seek shelter under an umbrella, tree, or other shady areas to avoid the sun’s harmful rays. Even on cloudy days, you can get a high level of UV exposure.
- Avoid any type of reflective sunlight. Water, sand, snow, pavement and other reflective surfaces can intensify the UV exposure your skin is getting.
- Protect your skin with clothing and headwear to cover your arms, legs, and head/neck. Some clothing is considered protective against UV rays. Check the labels of your clothing to be sure.
- Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
- Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect the skin not covered by clothing. Higher numbers indicate a higher amount of protection from UV rays. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 to protect your skin. Reapply your sunscreen after swimming and again after 2 hours of normal activities for maximum protection.
- Avoid indoor tanning and tanning beds.
If you must get a bronze look, head for a local spray tan. It’s healthier for your skin and often comes with moisturizers to keep your skin looking young and vibrant.
Most skin cancers are a result of the exposure to UV rays from sunlight. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are typically found on sun-exposed body parts. Melanoma, a more serious but less common type of skin cancer, is also related to sun exposure.
Ultraviolet rays can come from man-made sources as well. Some of these include welding torches, UV light therapy for skin problems such as psoriasis, black-light lamps, and tanning beds.
Some experts think that even 15 minutes of sun exposure can be harmful to your skin. While the sun provides many health benefits for your body through vitamin D, experts believe it is best to get your vitamin D through diet rather than sun exposure.
While Sand Lake Imaging doesn’t do skin cancer screenings, we feel it’s an important topic of discussion to have with your healthcare provider or dermatologist. Stay sun safe this summer!