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July is UV Safety Month

July is UV Safety Month

One in Five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

We know that you and your family will be outdoors this summer enjoying summer activities. To help you stay safe from the sun, it’s important to know the dos and don’ts of how to keep your skin protected from the sun’s ultraviolet light.

UV light (or ultraviolet light) is a type of electromagnetic radiation that originates from the sun and reaches earth. UV light is different from visible light rays, which are longer and can be seen by the human eye.

UV radiation is divided into three main groups:

  • UVA rays have the least energy among UV rays. These rays can cause skin cells to age and can cause some indirect damage to cells’ DNA. UVA rays are mainly linked to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles, but they are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers.
  • UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage the DNA in skin cells directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.
  • UVC rays have more energy than the other types of UV rays. Fortunately, because of this, they react with ozone high in our atmosphere and don’t reach the ground, so they are not normally a risk factor for skin cancer. But UVC rays can also come from some man-made sources, such as arc welding torches, mercury lamps, and UV sanitizing bulbs used to kill bacteria and other germs (such as in water, air, food, or on surfaces).

UV penetration into the layers of the skin

Learn About UV Exposure

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes from the sun and man-made sources like tanning beds. Learn more about UV and how to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

  • Sun and other types of radiation
  • Are some people more likely to get skin damage from the sun?
  • Are tanning pills and other tanning products safe?
  • Anyone can get skin cancer regardless of skin color.
  • It is estimated that nearly 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
  • Research estimates that non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affects more than three million Americans a year.
  • Skin cancer, including melanoma, is highly treatable when detected early.

WHO IS AT RISK?

  • Risk factors for all types of skin cancer include skin that burns easily, blond or red hair, a history of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns, tanning bed use, immune system-suppressing disease or treatments, and a history of skin cancer.
  • People with more than 50 moles, atypical moles, or large moles are also at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
  • Caucasians and men older than 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population.

Prevent. Detect. Live

There are several precautions that can be taken to stay safe while enjoying the sunshine. You can dramatically decrease the risk of UV ray damage by making the tips below part of your normal routine.

  • SEEK SHADE BETWEEN 10 A.M. AND 2 P.M. If your shadow appears shorter than you, seek shade.
  • WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
  • GENEROUSLY APPPLY A BROAD-SPECTRUM, WATER-RESISTANT SUNSCREEN with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) OF 30 or higher to all exposed skin. Reapply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand, as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of skin cancer.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • WEAR SUNGLASSES that are labeled “100%UV protection” or UV400. They should also block both types of UV rays.

Sun safety quiz

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Click on the link below from the American Cancer Society to test your knowledge on sun safety.

  • Take the quiz HERE!

Skin self-exam

Click below to learn how to perform a skin self-exam

Q & A

This information is intended for information purposes only. Please call your doctor’s office if you find any new or suspicious spots on your skin, or any spots that are changing, itching or bleeding.

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