The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has named July national UV Safety Month. UV rays can cause many complications beyond skin cancer – such as eye problems, a weakened immune system, age spots, wrinkles and leathery skin. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), some common sun-related vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium.
Sunlight is the main source of UV rays, but you don’t have to avoid the sun altogether to keep yourself safe. To protect your eyes, the Federal Occupational Health Office recommends:
- Wearing a wide-brimmed hat that shields your face and eyes.
- Wearing wrap-around sunglasses that block glare and UV rays.
UV rays are just as harmful to your skin. The skin is our largest organ, and it protects us against heat, injury, sunlight and infection. We now have a much better understanding of why we should protect our skin, because studies have proved that overexposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer. Brighton Tru-Edge wants to remind you there are easy everyday steps you can take to protect your skin:
- Wear proper clothing that will protect you from harmful ultraviolet rays. Also, remember to protect your head and eyes with a hat and UV-resistant sunglasses.
- Avoid sunburns, as they can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer. This is especially important for children.
- Stay out of the sun, if possible, between the peak burning hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the CDC and the World Health Organization.
- Use extra caution when near reflective surfaces, like water, snow and sand. Reflective surfaces can reflect the rays of the sun and increase your chance of sunburn.
- Use sunscreen on all exposed skin, and re-apply throughout the day. To be safe, apply your sunscreen at a rate of one ounce every two hours.
Keep in mind your body needs UV protection every day, not just the days you spend at the lake, beach or pool.
For more information on sun protection, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) UV index.[/text_output]