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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:10

Enjoy Summer with Effective Sun Protection Tips

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sun protectionSummer is arriving and so bringing a lot of enjoyment for us. Children wait eagerly for summer as it brings holidays with it. It’s a season for outings, picnic plans and recreational activities. But sun is at its hottest at this season and can cause health risks. So, be aware and follow sun protection tips to avoid harmful effects of sun rays without ruing your vacation.

What is sun protection?

Protection of skin from harmful effects of sun rays is termed as sun protection. Simply, these are few precautions that when we make as a part of our daily routine, protects us from adverse effects of sunlight.

Why sun protection is needed?

Sun rays consist of ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) of varying wavelength. Exposure to UV rays produces various skin hazards. Increase in outdoor activities among workers due to occupational need raise overexposure to sun. Sunburn can permanently damage the skin and cause tanning, blisters, premature wrinkling and signs of ageing. Sunburn is also known to cause precancerous changes in the skin and skin cancer on long-term exposure.
Many studies have shown that exposure to UV radiation risks for development of melanoma and non-melanoma type skin cancer. According to experts skin cancer can be prevented in four out of five cases by just reducing exposure to UV rays. Hence effective sun protection is necessary.

Who are at risk?

People with pale or fair skin colour, with lots of freckles, living in sunny or high-altitude climate and with family history of skin cancers are more at risk for sun induced skin damage. Also, people whose work keeps them outside for most of days are at risk and need sun protection to reduce health risks.

Effective sun protection tips

Sun protection tips are simple precautions that should be taken to avoid sun damage. According to the SunWise Program, an environmental and health education program that aims to teach about how to get protected from overexposure to sun, sun protection tips are

  • Limit time in the sun

Limit exposure to sun during peak sunlight hours. Sun rays are strongest during midday hours from 10 am to 4 pm.
Check for UV index (UVI) while going outside or schedule work according to UV index. UV index is a measure of the level of UV radiation, reported along with weather forecast in newspaper, on TV and radio. UV index help to plan your outdoor activities in a way that prevents you from overexposure to the sun rays. When the UV index expects exposure levels of moderate or above, you must follow special precautions and adhere to sun safety practices.

  • Wear protective clothing

While going outside, use a broad-brimmed hat which offers good sun protection for eyes, ears, face, back and neck. Wear a long-sleeved shirts and long pants covering arms and legs fully. Tightly woven, light-coloured and loose-fitting fabric acts as a barrier and offers complete protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

  • Use protective sunscreen

Markets are flooded with sunscreen and we are always in dilemma about choosing best one.
Before selecting sunscreen take a look on labelling, which states SPF (Sun protection factor) and ingredient in sunscreen.SPF value shows the degree of sunburn protection offered by sunscreen. It can be 15, 30 or 50. Also, look for sunscreen composition. Physical sunscreen with ingredient like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, or chemical sunscreen containing octocrylene protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Hence, use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or more and active against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Apply sunscreen very liberally at exposed part of skin, a half hour before going outside ,so that ingredient get absorbed in deeper layers of skin and take effect when you are at outside. Re-apply sunscreen after every 2 hours, after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoor.

  • Use sunglasses

Sunglasses providing 99 to 100% UVA and UVB protection will greatly reduce eye damage from sun exposure. See label showing percentage of UV protection offered by sunglasses before purchasing.
Select sunglasses with large, wraparound-style frame, as it cover entire eye-socket and offer efficient sunlight protection.

  • Use shade wisely

Take a break in shade when UV rays are most extreme. Follow shadow rule i.e., short shadow means strongest sun rays and seek for shade.
Be cautious when shade is near reflective surfaces like water, snow and sand. Such glare causing surfaces can reflect UV rays from any direction and cause damage to skin and eyes.

  • Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds

Sunlamps or tanning beds used for treating some dermatological conditions can damage the skin and unprotected eyes and, hence best to be use after consulting with experts only.
Besides these tips, drink plenty of water to maintain hydration in sunny days and check your skin regularly for unusual spots or moles that have changed in shape, size, colour or showing itching or bleeding. Do not ignore tan, as it a sign of skin damage.
These simple sun protection tips will help you to enjoy summer without skin damage.

Do I need to apply sunscreen in winter months?

Image: medline plus 

Read 23786 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:43

1 comment

  • Comment Link The Bug Man Thursday, 11 July 2013 02:53 posted by The Bug Man

    The way you ambulated on the whole of the subject overwhelmed me. Hates of to you and eagerly await your oncoming post.

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