In northeast Ohio, summer weather is finally here and we’re all enjoying the outdoors – During the month of July, one of the hottest and sunniest months, the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology work together to promote UV Safety Month.
This July, and throughout the year, it’s important to know about UV safety. Sunburns increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. Extra exposure to UV rays can damage unprotected skin, increasing the risk of developing melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
In addition to cancer, UV exposure can cause age spots, eye problems like macular degeneration, wrinkles, and more damage. Adults and children should be taking the time to protect skin and eyes before spending time in the sun.
In the continental United States during daylight hours, from 10 am to 4 pm, UV rays are the most hazardous. People with fair skin are most at risk, but anyone can experience UV sun damage. You can also experience more UV exposure at higher altitudes. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Using UV Index
Decide how much sun protection you need before you leave your home by checking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) UV index. Measuring the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1 to 11, with a low UV index requiring minimal protection and a high UV index requiring maximum protection.
How to Protect Your Skin & Eyes
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen
- Re-apply broad-spectrum sunscreen every 2 hours
- Wear long sleeve shirts and pants
- Wear wide-brimmed hat
- Wear UV-resistant sunglasses (wrap-around glasses with 99 or higher UV blockare best)
- Get out of sun before you burn
- Stay in the shade
- Use extra caution when near reflective surfaces, like water, snow, and sand
- Use extra caution when at higher altitudes
More tips for staying protected from UV damage:
Find summer safety tips for preventing dehydration, staying safe in the water and more: