Protecting Your Skin
Your skin is more vulnerable than you might think
Protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays is easier and more important than you may think.
UVA and UVB Rays
UVA are the longer light waves that cause skin aging and damage
UVB are the shorter waves that cause sun burns
- Both can cause skin cancer
- Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Types of Protection
SPF is the measure of how well a sunscreen protects you
If someone takes 20 minutes to burn, SPF 15 is supposed to make it take fifteen times longer to burn
- Broad spectrum means you are protected from UVA and UVB rays
- Sunscreen should be worn daily, and reapplied as needed
- " look for The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, which is awarded to sun protective products that meet stringent criteria for safety and effectiveness"
Most recently, in a rigorous study of more than 1,600 adults over the course of a decade, researchers determined that subjects applying sunscreen with an SPF of 16 daily reduced their risk of melanoma by 50 percent.
First line of defense
UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) measures how much sun clothing lets through
- UPF 50 lets 1/50th of the sun’s radiation through
- The tighter the knit or weave, the smaller the holes and the less UV can get through
- Synthetic fibers (polyester, lycra, nylon, and acrylic) are more protective than bleached cottons
- Shiny or lustrous semi-synthetic fabrics reflect more UV than do matte one
- The more vivid the color, the greater the protection
- "People can spend long hours in the shade while still receiving quite a lot of sun exposure and risking skin damage. This is because UVB rays, often considered the most harmful part of sunlight, can reach the skin indirectly."
- Only deep shade where the sun is not visible will protect us
- Hats with broad brims all around and those with brims angled downwards provide the greatest UV protection. Brims must be at least three inches wide to provide reasonable sun protection around the nose and cheeks
- Umbrellas offer little to none UV protection! On average you are still receiving 84% of the sun's UV rays!
Shade alone can rarely provide full UV protection, especially for prolonged periods. However, it is one important element in a comprehensive sun protection
Skin Cancer Risk when Driving
53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers' side of the body.
Transparent window film screens out almost 100 percent of UVB and UVA without reducing visibility
Keep sunscreen in the car
Skip the sunroof, Skip the convertible