Summer is a much loved season. Longer days and warmer weather means vacation and spending time with family and friends outdoors. This is a time in which sun protection is essential. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is part of the electromagnetic light spectrum from the sun. UVA and UVB light play a significant role in premature aging, eye damage (such as cataracts) and skin cancers. They also can suppress the immune system reducing your ability to fight off infection

There are many different ways to achieve sun protection from UV rays. The most common is sunscreen. Sunscreen comes in different sun protection factures (SPF) which measure of the sunscreen’s ability to prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging the skin, broad spectrum sunscreen protects against the harmful rays of both UVA and UVB rays. If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen will prevent reddening/burning 15 times longer, about 5 hours. We recommend wearing at least SPF 30 daily. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapplied every 2 hours while in the sun. 

Clothing is also a good line of defense against the sun’s harmful UV light. It absorbs and blocks much of this radiation. Wearing a long sleeve shirt or a rash guard when you at the pool or beach can help. Sunglasses will also help prevent sun damage to the eyes and surrounding area. A wide brimmed hat can not only help protect your face and eyes from UV radiation, but it also covers areas that are difficult to cover with sunscreen like the scalp or back of the ears and neck.

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