How to Protect Yourself from the Sun
We all know that sunlight contains very powerful ultraviolet rays (UV) which can be very detrimental to our bodies. UV radiation can cause premature aging of the skin, excessive wrinkles, cataracts in our eyes, and, of course, skin cancer. The extent of damage incurred from UV exposure is dependent upon the overall strength of the light, the length of your exposure to the UV rays, and whether or not you were wise enough to protect your skin at all.
Excessive sun exposure can cause skin cause to people of all ages. If you are fair skinned, have freckles, have irregular or large moles, or are blonde/red/light brown of hair color or you have a need to spend a great deal of time outdoors, it is especially important that you are even more careful in the sun since your skin will burn quite easily.
If you are consistently exposed to the sun you should make it a habit to engage in monthly self examinations of your body because if there are any signs of cancer and you detect them early on, more often than not they can be cured. One of the most obvious warning signs of potential skin cancer is the presence of a spot on your skin that changes in its size, appearance, shape, or color over a span of time. Skin cancers can take on various forms including:
- Pale, pearly/waxy nodules
- Red, sharply outlined and scaly patches
- Sores that will not heal
- Small moles
If during your examination you see any one of these unusual skin changes, it is imperative that you see your doctor immediately.
The best way to protect yourself when in the sun is simply to block out the UV rays. This can be accomplished in several ways.
- Cover up your body with tightly woven clothing which typically will block out light;
- Use sunscreen regularly. Be certain to use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 which will block out nearly 90 percent of the suns UV rays. When applying the sunscreen be certain to pay attention to the application directions on the bottle or tube;
- Wearing a wide brim hat is ideal for protecting your neck, ears, eyes, nose, forehead, and your scalp;
- Be certain to wear sunglasses that are UV absorbent which typically block out 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation; and
- Last but not least, limit your exposure. UV rays are more intense between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. so it is imperative that you try not to over expose your body during these peak hours.
Everybody loves sun tanning and certainly everybody knows all the dangers of sun tanning and specifically over sun tanning. If you are adamant about sun tanning, then be practical and smart with your tanning. Be certain to use an effective sunscreen and suntan in intervals rather than extended consistent spans of time in the sun. One of the deadliest cancers in the world today is that of malignant melanoma cancer, which, as we all know, is the result of over exposure to the sun. If you have to tan, enjoy, but be practical so you do not find yourself one of the millions of people who are suffering from skin cancer today.
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