- UVA- these rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer. These type of rays pass easily through the ozone layer so you are exposed to UVA rays the most.
- UVB- these rays not only contribute to skin cancer, but they cause sunburns, cataracts and even effect your immune system. Many believe that Melanoma (skin cancer) is associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20.
Your skin has it's own way of protecting itself. Melanin can be found in your skin. The darker your skin tone the more melanin you have. As you are exposed to sun your melanin increases and your skin tans. As many of us know melanin is not enough and have suffered a sunburn when exposed to too much sun.
Here are a few facts about our friend the sun:
- the strongest rays of the day are between 10am- 4pm.
- most skin sun damage is from everyday sun exposure, not those beach days.
- UV rays can travel through clouds, and be reflected off water, sand and even concrete.
Sunscreen is your best line of defense. Now a days there are so many sunscreens to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips about sunscreen for the whole family:
- look for SPF 30 or higher. (children under 6 months ask your doctor!)
- look for broad spectrum sunscreen. This means it blocks UVB and UVA rays.
- Apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure
- apply a generous amount of sunscreen.
- don't forget to apply to lips, ears, hands, feet and hair parts.
- reapply every 2 hours and after water activities.
What are your tips when it comes to sun safety?