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Three Tips to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Three Tips to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

With the summer sun shining bright, that means spending more time outdoors—and an increased chance of experiencing the familiar discomfort of a sunburn. While experiencing a sunburn every now and then can be relatively harmless, frequent exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays over time can cause skin cancer. In fact, having five or more sunburns in your lifetime doubles your risk of developing melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with 20 percent of Americans developing it before the age of 70. With such high statistics, it’s important to do what you can to effectively reduce that risk.

In light of UV Safety Month, the health experts at Southwest General are here to share some tips to help you safeguard your skin health this summer.

1. Wear the Right Sunscreen

According to Yale Scientific, sunscreen helps to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays with a combination of physical and chemical particles. The chemical particles effectively absorb the sun’s rays while the physical particles help to reflect UV radiation.

When picking out your sunscreen, make sure it fits the following criteria as outlined by the American Cancer Society:

  • Labeled as being “broad spectrum”
  • Has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher
  • Is water-resistant for when you are spending time in water or sweating

2. Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection

Another great way to protect your skin is to wear sunglasses with UV protection. Along with protecting the sensitive skin around your eyes from sunburn and skin cancer, the American Optometric Association states that wearing protective eyewear protects you from the following eye-health issues:

  • Photokeratitis – a temporary, painful eye condition caused by exposure to UV rays
  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Extreme light sensitivity

For effective protection form the sun’s rays, the American Optometric Association recommends that your eyewear meet the following requirements:

  • Blocks 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • Has lenses that are perfectly matched in color
  • Screens out 70-90 percent of visible light

3. Pay Attention to the UV Index in Your Local Forecast

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the UV index in your local forecast measures the expected intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The higher the UV index, the more likely you are to get a sunburn. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), in most areas, UV radiation is at its strongest between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Primary and Specialty Care in Ohio

The Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. includes both primary care and specialty care physicians who are committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. Our team of board-certified specialists and skilled physicians work to raise the bar for excellence in health care service for our community. To learn more about our primary and specialty care services or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.