Protecting yourself from UV rays

In August, we observe Summer Sun Safety. This reminds us to take care of our skin as we enjoy the last warm days of the summer.

UV radiation is grouped into three categories based on their wavelength which is measured in nanometers. 

  1. Ultraviolet A (UVA)
  2. Ultraviolet B (UVB)
  3. Ultraviolet C (UVC)

UVA radiation provides the largest concern to our health followed by UVB. These rays are associated with the following risks:

  • Sunburn: which is a sign of overexposure. This can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
  • Sensitivity from medications: topical medicines and some cosmetics may increase skin and eye sensitivity
  • Blinding eye diseases: eye protection is key in prevention
  • Skin cancer: unprotected exposure to UV rays damages the skin’s DNA producing genetic defects which can lead to skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. 

How to safeguard your skin

Protecting yourself from damaging UV rays has been made easier. Combine different techniques to enjoy the warm days outside.

  1. Stay in the shade. This one is pretty simple. Find an umbrella, a patio, or a shade tree and avoid some of those damaging rays.
  2. Wear a shirt. Covering your skin increases the protection. If you select a shirt with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) you increase your sun protection from usually around 5 UPF to 50 UPF.
  3. Slather on sunscreen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should try to select a SPF of 30 or higher, a water resistant sunscreen, and a broad spectrum product which protects from both UVA and UVB rays.
  4. Wear a hat. Hats protect your scalp and also offer another layer of protection for your face.
  5. Select a pair of sunglasses. Eye protection is key against the sun’s rays. They also help you to see better when the light is especially bright.

Shielding our children from sun damage

As our kids return to school, remind them of sun safety tips. Make sure you send your children to school with adequate clothing to protect their skin including hats and sunglasses. If they can apply their own sunscreen, stick a bottle in their backpack. 

HealthStar Physicians Premier Medical is here to serve your medical needs. Reach out to us to set up annual exams and be sure to discuss any skin changes during those appointments. 

We’re Newport’s compassionate and experienced healthcare provider. We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.