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This month is UV Safety month, and rightly so. California summer temperatures may vary drastically depending on what region of the state you live in but if the sun is out, that sun is brightly beating down in all of its harmful ultraviolet (UV) glory. Too much UV exposure poses the risk of developing skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70, says the skin cancer foundation. Those statistics equal more skin cancer diagnosis than all other cancers combined. Because skin cancer is chiefly a lifestyle disease, though, it is also highly preventable, says the skin cancer foundation.
Skin cancer is not the only risk associated with UV exposure. Sun burns on skin can be extremely painful depending on the degree of the burn. Our eyes are also susceptible to damage if not properly protected, and even our hair can be damaged by the sun. The good news is that we live in a world brimming with innovations designed to protect us from the harmful aspects of the sun. Since staying indoors forever isn’t the healthiest alternative, consider some simple options to protect your skin when outdoors:
UV protection sunglasses can be purchased at most retailers, and most prescription lenses have optional UV protection.
Sun protecting lotions come in a range of sun protection factors (SPF) and various price points to fit your lifestyle and budget. If applying lotion multiple times throughout the day seems overwhelming, try a spray-on option. Sprays are generally less messy and may be easier to apply for some.
Wear a hat. Choose a hat with a wide brim that covers your face, neck and shoulders.
SPF clothing and swimwear have been designed to block the UV rays from reaching your skin, and even wearing regular clothing is better than no barrier. Lightweight long sleeved tops, loose pants and breathable covered shoes are wise choices for days spent in direct sunlight.
Seek out shade when outdoors. Minimize time in direct sunlight by opting for a cooler space under a tree, patio or other covering.
Routine Exams : each month do a self-exam from head to toe looking for moles, spots, etc that could be signs of skin cancer and consult your physician for anything questionable. Also plan yearly visits with your physician to monitor skin health.
Sun damage can occur any time of year. Even in colder weather there is a risk of UV exposure. Daily UV exposure without proper protection will negatively impact our skin. It’s never too late to start caring for our skin. Conscious daily choices are some of the most important steps toward a healthier version of yourself.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains information that is intended to help the readers be better informed regarding exercise and health care. It is presented as general advice on health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Before beginning any new exercise program it is recommended that you seek medical advice from your personal physician. This article is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of a licensed physician. The reader should consult with their doctor in any matters relating to his/her health.