How do I Protect Myself from UV Rays?

There are several ways to protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays, although some people require more protection than others. The most important thing to remember, when you are exposed to UV rays, is that your skin may be being damaged even with sunscreen. To learn way to safely enjoy those sunny days spent outside, read this simple guide.

Stay Indoors

The best way to protect against UV rays is to stay indoors. While staying indoors all summer long is not likely to happen, there are other ways to seek protection. Sunscreen is the best thing for protection when you go outside to enjoy the warm summer weather. Also, avoid the sun’s peak hours of 1- 4 pm. For a more specific time frame, check the weather for the UV ray index for the location where you reside.

Avoid Tanning Equipment

The second significant way to protect against UV rays is to avoid tanning beds, lamps or any type of artificial tanning devices. These devices emit harmful sources of UV that causes skin damage. The tan they provide may look great while you are on vacation, but the damage they cause will last a lifetime!

Seek Shade

Seeking shelter in the shade from the UV rays is a great place to start for prevention. You can still feel the warmth of the sun, and get your daily dose of vitamin D, while not damaging your skin. Even if you decide to hang out in the shade, you still need to wear a waterproof high SPF sunscreen. Shade can be anything from a large shady tree to a large umbrella. So, regardless of where you are spending your time in the sun, you have no excuse not to find shade when you can just pop open that umbrella from the department store!

Proper Clothing

Clothing and hats are another great way to protect your skin from the suns UV rays. If you are not going to the beach or for a swim, cover your body with clothes to protect against UV rays. A long sleeve shirt that is made out of a lightweight, cotton blend will not only be comfortable to wear, it will protect you. The same goes for pants. A pair of lightweight, cotton blend pants will keep those legs covered while still allowing you to be comfortable. Another clothing option is silk. Silk is cool, lightweight, and it feels soft on your skin. Another option is a wide-brimmed hat with a brim of about three inches. This will shade your face and protect your scalp. Wide-brimmed hats are stylish and made for both women and men!

Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a very important element in the protection from UV rays. As mentioned several times already, sunscreen should always be waterproof, even if you are not going to be swimming. Just by perspiring from the heat, the sweat can dissolve sunscreen. Sunscreen comes in different SPF (sun protection factor) levels. The levels range from as low as 2, to as high as 100.  The greatest challenges, of sunscreen use, are understanding what SPF you need and knowing how often to use it. There are some things you should know when choosing an SPF. You should take into consideration the following details: the time of day, the length of time you will be in the sun, your geographic location, and the weather conditions. To check the weather conditions look at the forecast check the UV index.

Sunglasses

Most people wear sunglasses because the sun “blinds” them or hurts their eyes. This is especially true when driving or enjoying the outside. What most people do not realize is that the ultraviolet rays from the sun can also damage your eyes. Long-term exposure to the UV rays can cause sunburn on the eyes just like on the skin. It can also cause skin cancer around the eyelids, cataracts, and/or pterygium (an abnormal, non-cancerous growth in the corner of the eye). Pterygium can grow over the cornea, blocking part of your vision, and may require surgery for removal. Snow blindness is another condition caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun. Snow blindness results from the reflections that come from water, snow, or concrete pavement. It can also be caused the artificial UV rays produced by tanning beds and lamps.