Keeping Your Skin Safe from UV Radiation
You’ve probably heard about the dangers of spending too much time exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet lights, but how much do you know about UV radiation? July is Ultraviolet Safety Month, making it the perfect time to learn about the harms of UV radiation and how to keep yourself safe.
What is Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation?
Ultraviolet radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation found in sunlight. There are three main types of UV radiation: ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B. and ultraviolet C. All types of ultraviolet radiation can cause harm to the body in large doses. However, in small increments, UV radiation is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium from food.
The Harms of UV Radiation
One of the most common harms of UV radiation is sunburn. Even on cloudy days, spending more than 15 minutes in the sun puts you at risk of developing a sunburn. Most sunburns are mild, and you can ease the burning and itching symptoms with over-the-counter medication. However, the more sunburns you get, the more at risk you are for developing skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the more dangerous effects of UV radiation. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Doctors can detect each one of these cancers by an unusual mole or skin discoloration. If caught early, a doctor can treat most types of skin cancer. However, if left untreated, some types of skin cancer can spread and cause serious complications.
Tips for Protecting Your Skin from UV Radiation
Too much exposure to UV radiation can be harmful, but there are ways to keep yourself protected and healthy.
- Wear sunscreen- The sun’s UV rays can cause skin damage at any time of year, not just on warm sunny days. Get in the habit of putting on sunscreen whenever you’re spending extended periods outside. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.
- Stay out of direct sunlight- If you plan to do something outdoors, try to stay out of direct sunlight. Find shade from a tree or building, or wear a large brim hat to keep the harmful rays away from your skin.
- Cover your skin- If the temperature isn’t too warm, wear long layers to cover any skin exposed to the sun. This includes wearing a hat to protect your scalp and closed-toe shoes to keep your feet safe.
- Get to know your skin- Perform regular skin checks and note any moles or areas of the skin that seem to be changing. If you’re not sure what to look for, think of your ABCs. Check for asymmetrical shapes, an uneven border, and changing skin colors.
- See a dermatologist- If you’re prone to sunburns or you have a family history of skin cancer, you may want to consider seeing a dermatologist. A dermatologist can check your skin for any concerned areas and provide additional tips for keeping yourself safe from UV radiation.
How Visiting Angels Can Help
If you or an aging loved one needs help staying safe from UV radiation this summer, give the team at Visiting Angels Augusta, GA a call. Our caregivers can accompany seniors on outdoor adventures and make sure they’re following the proper safety precautions. Visiting Angels caregivers can also assist with meal preparations, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation, personal grooming, and more.
Our Augusta office serves those in Augusta, Evans, Martinez, and the surrounding Georgia communities. If you’d like to learn more about our services or schedule your free consultation, you can complete this online form or call us at 706.955.4220.