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Ultra Violet Safety Month


July is UV Safety Month!

This month’s article is about sun safety. It’s already the middle of summer so if you haven’t been using your sunblock now is a good time to start!

Ultra Violet rays from the sun can’t be seen but they can definitely do some damage. These little guys are the main cause of skin cancer and can also be extremely dangerous to your eyes. People with fair complexions, light colored hair and blue or green eyes are at a higher risk for skin damage from the sun. UV rays have also been known to harm the cornea and lens of the eye as well as lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. I came across an interesting fact when I was doing research for this article.  I found out that UV levels in tanning beds are up to 100 times higher than what you would normally get from the sun. This blew me away.

We all know how to prevent sun damage but it seems like nobody likes to follow the rules! Everyone wants a nice tan on their skin and wants to wear stylish sunglasses as opposed to something that will actually protect you. Well it’s time for some tough love everyone! We see people in the office every week for skin lesions, benign and malignant, and it doesn’t always end well for them. Skin cancer is very serious and can be very aggressive. Please wear your sunblock, even if you only plan on being outside for a little while. The sun’s rays are the strongest from 11am to 4pm so be especially careful during this time period. A lot of people don’t know this but you are supposed to apply a generous amount of sunblock at least 30 minutes before you go outside. It takes time for it to soak into your skin and it is less likely to wash right off if you get in the water. Re-application every 2 hours is also necessary because believe it or not, the amazing power of sunblock does wear off.

There are really great sunblock’s out now that have minerals in them to help block harmful rays. You should be looking for the words “broad spectrum” because this kind blocks both UVA and UVB rays. There are many different kinds including hypo-allergenic, waterproof, sweat proof, unscented, scented, non-greasy, and sunblock that even sprays out of a bottle so you don’t have to rub it in! There are little bottles of sunblock that hook onto key chains and even clothing that has sunblock built into it. There is no longer an excuse for why you are peeling! Oh and FYI: Large brimmed beach hats are totally back in style!!!

In closing I just want to say (again) that skin cancer is very serious disease and it can be very aggressive. On a lighter note, it is somewhat preventable if you take the proper precautions. Please take me seriously when I tell you that you need to protect yourself now so that you don’t have to come see us later! Wishing you all a safe, happy, fun, sunblock filled summer! (SPF 30 and above that is!)  J