Sun Sense

  Sun Sense

  Ah, the feel of the hot summer sun on
  your skin! After a long, cold winter, it’s
  refreshing to spend time in the warmth of
  the sun – but BEWARE your health is in
  danger not matter how good you think
  that tan looks and feels.

A Healthy Tan?

In their favor, ultraviolet (UV) rays produced by the sun activate Vitamin D, kill certain germs and boost our mood – but overexposure to UV rays damages the skin irreparably. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are actually radiation that comes in two types – UVB & UVA rays.UVBs are the immediate sunburn villains – they’re the rays that “roast” your skin.

Though they don’t dive as deep into the skin’s layers as UVAs, UVBs can damage the DNA at the heart of skin cells, and are one of the foremost causes of skin cancer. These same rays also help you by triggering your skin’s natural protection process – tanning. Tanning is really a form of damage control – a tan is living proof that your skin has suffered UV attacks. Keep in mind that these self-defense systems are thrown out of whack when overworked by repeated and prolonged exposure to the sun. UVA is a long wavelength that penetrates the skin very deeply.

Protect Yourself

Don’t be fooled – sunburn appears in up to four hours after sun exposure and can last three days.  Sun protection is basically putting a barrier between your skin and the sun.  Sun screen doesn’t work, unless you put it on! Did you know that UVAs can pass through glass – windshields and windows don’t block them! Also, clouds only filter out some UV rays, so use your sunscreen even on cloudy days.
Here are a few more tips on keeping you and your family safe in the sun:
Know your skin type and protect yourself accordingly. Don’t stay out in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The sun’s rays are less intense early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Use a sunscreen that’s appropriate to your skin and to the level of sun you’re exposed.