Summer Hazards: Sunburn

Sunshine is a wonderful thing that has many proven scientific benefits. Beneficial effects of UV radiation include the production of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food to assist in bone development. However, too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Most of us have heard about the dangers associated with getting too much sunshine.

Not only can a sunburn be painful but it is also associated with diseases that present themselves long after the sunburn is gone, skin cancer. A sunburn is a sign of short-term overexposure. Over time this short-term overexposure can lead to skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer over their lifetime. The good news is that there are many ways to protect yourself and your loved one from ultraviolet radiation.

Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is one of the most common ways to protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation. The depletion of the ozone layer puts us at an even higher risk for skin cancer than ever before. Applying sunscreen each day cuts your risk of developing skin cancer is half.

Stay in the Shade

Staying out of the sun is the simplest way to ensure you limit your ultraviolet radiation exposure. This is a good option when possible but if you can’t find shade a hat or umbrella is another great option.

Wear Covering Clothes

If shade or sunscreen isn’t an option wearing clothes to cover your skin is another good way to limit your sun exposure. This option can be hot, so look for clothes that are lightweight, light in color, and allow for a breeze to move through them.

Go Inside During Peak Hours

The strength of the sun’s rays can be vastly different at different times of the day. Stay out of the sun during the sun's peak hours to avoid harsh ultraviolet rays. If you must go out make sure to follow any or all of the methods mentioned above.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Contrary to popular belief, indoor tanning beds are not safer for your skin. They can be just as harmful or even more so. Only 10 minutes in the tanning bed is equivalent to four hours on the beach.

Stay safe this summer and stay out of the sun. If you do go in the sun remember to apply sunscreen!

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