Ways to Protect Yourself from Harmful UV Rays
At Signature Medicine, concierge medicine for people in the Newtown, PA area is a full-body mission. Weight loss programs are available, but regardless of whether you’re overweight or have an ideal body mass index for your height and age, everyone is susceptible to the harmful health effects of sun exposure.
We’re telling you about this now because July is UV Safety Month (as promoted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology). This is a month when people spend a lot of time outside: at beaches, pools, parades, sporting events, barbeques, and other outdoor activities. Like many things, sunlight is healthy in moderation, as it provides Vitamin D and other nutrients. But too much can be dangerous.
Since the American Academy of Ophthalmology is concerned with eye care, we’ll start with ways to protect your eyes.
How UV Exposure Can Harm Your Eyes
Many people don’t know that just like your skin, your eyes can get sunburn. But other consequences of UV exposure are even more serious, such as the formation of cataracts or the growth of cancer of the eye or eyelid. People with light colored eyes (blue, green, etc.) are especially vulnerable to UV exposure.
Here are three easy ways to keep your eyes safe:
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
- Avoid looking at the sun.
How UV Exposure Can Harm Your Skin
The pain of sunburn is the least of your worries when it comes to the potential health consequences of UV exposure.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and most cases can be attributed at least in part, to UV exposure.
UV exposure also ages your skin, increasing the rate at which wrinkles, blotches, and spots appear.
To learn about some ways to protect your skin, watch this quick video and keep reading:
- Broad-spectrum sunscreen, as seen in the video, protects skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen can lose its effectiveness after expiration, so don’t use sunscreen left over from last summer; buy a new bottle. And if you’re outside for several hours, reapply it every couple of hours.
- Clothing can put a protective layer between the sun and your skin. If you can tolerate the heat, wear a thin, long-sleeved shirt for maximum protection.
- Another simple way is to stay in the shade, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when sunlight is at its most intense.
For the best in medicine, internal and external, request a free consultation from Signature Medicine.