Summer’s coming; Protect your skin 

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With summer approaching, learn how to protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. 

As the semester comes to an end, the sounds of summer have been quickly rushing in. Summer is typically full of time spent in the sunlight. It is a wonderful time of year to recharge, get reconnected with nature, and soak in that vitamin D while it is readily available. Generally, summer is pretty low-key, but there is one thing that should not be taken lightly: protecting skin from the dangerous rays of the sun. 

The American Academy of Dermatology Association would recommend that an individual wear sun protection when possibly exposed to UV rays. However, there is a part of the day that is considered peak UV radiation hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is also when the UV index reading is at a 3 or higher. 

What is the UV index? 

If unfamiliar with the term, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shares that the UV index is a scale that reads from 0 to 11, or even higher. Basically, it indicates the strength of UV radiation produced from the sun at a specific time and geographical location. In regard to the scale, 0 indicates a smaller exposure and the higher numbers depict increasing potential for harm due to the UV exposure. Generally, the scale helps everyday people decide their level of preparation and protection they need to plan for when exposing themselves to UV radiation. 

Is unprotected sun exposure really that bad? 

Yes! According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are several potential health issues that are commonly caused by simply not protecting one’s skin from sun exposure. In choosing to not wear sunscreen or other protective clothing, an individual could experience sunburns, eye damage, skin cancer, premature aging, or a weakened immune system. 

How is skin correctly protected? 

The fun fact of the day is that the skin is the body’s largest organ. Because of this, it is important to know how to protect and take care of it. Our bodies will thank us down the road. In terms of sunscreen, according to the? American Academy of Dermatology Association, it is important to pay attention to the amount of SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, that is being used. Dermatologists recommend that if preparing for an activity that entails only a brief moment of sun exposure, then SPF 30 should do the job. On the other hand, if the activity involves longer time outside during peaks, then SPF 50 or higher is the best option. It is essential to also bring clothing that will allow for sun protection, whether that be a long-sleeved T-shirt or a sun hat. It is also important to wear sunglasses in an effort to protect the eyeballs from sun exposure.  

Plan ahead now for those long summer days in the sun by stocking up on a sunscreen supply. Taking care of the body this summer invests in future health.