Red is a color you will see a lot this Fourth of July, but it is not a color you want to see on your skin. So when spending your holiday weekend outdoors, you should think about protecting yourself from the sun?s harmful rays.
What exactly is dangerous about these ultraviolet (UV) rays? ?Basically there are two kinds of rays?UVA and UVB,? explained Dr. Ara DerMarderosian, professor of biological science at USP. ?UVB is what gives the burn. The UVA is more powerful and is what penetrates the skin. This can lead to more deep seeded problems such as cancer.?
But fear not, there are things you can do to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun. First and foremost, you must wear sunscreen. Dr. DerMarderosian recommends using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) higher than 15. ?It?s important to remember reapply frequently,? he said. ?People tend to think the more protective SPF?s will last longer. They give you a false sense of security, and you end up spending more time in the sun thinking you aren?t going to get a burn.?
In addition to sunscreen, here are some helpful tips from the American Skin Cancer Foundation:
? Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
? Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
? Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
? Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of 6 months.
? Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
? See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Furthermore, Dr. DerMarderosian recommends using sunscreen even on a cloudy day. ?Some people don?t know that the sun?s rays can penetrate through the clouds, and they may get a pretty good burn, even though it?s a cloudy day.?