Safety in the Summer Sun

Safety in the Summer Sun

July is UV Awareness month, focusing on ways to stay safe from ultraviolet rays from the sun.
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM-TV) The sun, such a pleasant sight to see after a brutal winter. However there's a danger coming from the sun that you can't see, Ultraviolet or UV rays.

Dr. James Coleman, a primary care physician at Schuyler Hospital, explains the health impacts from these rays.

"The most concerning health impact of prolonged skin exposure is the increase in skin cancer. There are other damaging effects on the skin that can cause discoloration even if the discoloration is not dangerous it tends to cause the skin to be more wrinkled and these are mostly cosmetic concerns," says Dr. Coleman.

It may seem like just sunburn, but it does add up. According to Doctor Coleman, the skin changes result from your overall sun exposure, and that even skin damage in childhood could still be present later in life.

Dr. Coleman suggests, "One of the best ways someone can protect themselves against the radiation from the sun, the ultraviolet radiation is to wear protective clothing such as long sleeve shirts and long pants and if available a hat.”

Be sure to reapply sunscreen frequently especially between peak radiation times of 10 AM to 2 PM.

Even clouds don't fully cooperate with protecting you from the rays.

According to Dr. Coleman, “You can definitely still have an adverse effect from UV rays even if it's cloudy. Some people feel if cloudy it's safe from sunburn. But that's not true if your planning on spending any time in the outdoors it's still a good idea to cover up with protective clothing and wear a hat and a good idea to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the skin. It's also helpful to wear sunglasses on cloudy days with glasses that offer UV protection."

Doctor Coleman also suggests looking into water resistant sunscreens for a day of fun in the sun without the burn.

Should you notice an abnormal skin discoloration, Doctor Coleman says to have it checked out by your primary care doctor

Before you head outside, check the link below to find out the UV index for our area.

http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index

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