July is UV Safety month, and the perfect time to remind yourself and your loved ones of the dangers of ultraviolet rays. The sun’s UV rays seem extra intense this time of year in Colorado. You and your family are more likely to spend long periods of time outside in the summer as well. It’s important to protect yourself from the sun to reduce your risk of the following:
- Skin cancer
- Sun spots
- Blotchy skin
Skin care and other measures combat the effects of UV rays. Consider the following tips:
- If at all possible, seek shade between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are most intense and direct.
- Cover up with concealing clothing. Loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants may seem counterintuitive in the summer season, but these clothing options will provide significant protection from sun damage. Choose long pants and long-sleeved shirts if you plan to be out in the sun for an extended amount of time – such as on a hike or watching your kids’ soccer game. A wide-brimmed hat is also recommended.
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection. Choose SPF 30 or higher for the best protection. Apply an adequate amount to exposed skin (a good guide is to use an amount equal to the volume of a shotglass).
- Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before getting in the sun, and reapply every 2 hours.
- Wear sunscreen even if it’s cloudy. A significant percentage of UV rays penetrate cloud cover.
These measures will not only keep your skin looking as youthful and fresh as possible, they will also prevent skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the US.