UV rays are a great way to get a sun kissed glow, but too much exposure can cause many health problems. Sunburns are usually a result of overexposure, but long term exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, premature aging of the skin, cataracts and other eye issues. Then there is sunstroke or heat exhaustion to think about.
This is why it's important to learn about UV protection so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe during their time outside. AFC Urgent Care New Britain has created a guide around UV Safety Awareness Month so that you can reduce the harmful impact of UV rays this summer.
UV Rays And The Ozone Layer
There are three different types of UV radiation, also known as UV rays. They are: UVA, UVB and UVC rays.
The most common form of UV radiation comes from the sun, but they can also come from tanning beds, and UV lamps. UV rays are invisible to the eye, but they differ in wavelength and strength. UVA rays have the longest wavelength and are the most common UV ray that can penetrate our skin. UVB is the second longest and UVC rays have the shortest wavelengths. Thankfully, our Earth’s ozone layer filters out most of the stronger wave lengths (UVC and UVB). So, most of the UV rays we come in contact with are UVA and small amounts of UVB rays.
The Risks Of UV Rays On The Body
According to the National Cancer Institute, UV rays are the primary cause of skin cancer and can lead to eye damage. UV rays can also cause heat stroke or heat exhaustion when you're exposed to them for extended periods of time—and they can burn your skin, too.
UV protection is essential for everyone but especially for those who spend extended periods outdoors during the summer months. In fact, you should always wear protective clothing when you go out in the sun; even if it is not hot outside or if it has been cloudy all day long! UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds on a cloudy day!
Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, which can have serious consequences. We highly suggest seeking medical attention, right away! Many of the symptoms of heat exhaustion are similar to flu-like symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and headache. It’s important during the summer months and during heat waves that you stay hydrated and protected from the UV rays.
Protecting Against UV Rays
UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it's best to avoid being outside during those times if you can help it. If you do have to be outside during peak hours, make sure you're wearing sunglasses with UV protection, staying hydrated and reapplying sunscreen often—especially after swimming or sweating a lot.
Sunscreen protection is an important part of UV protection. To get the most out of your sunscreen, choose one with broad spectrum protection (covering UVA and UVB and preferably with an SPF of 30 or higher) and water resistance for at least 60 minutes.
AFC Urgent Care New Britain Hopes Your UV Ready This Summer!
With the right UV protection and taking the extra precautions when out in the sun, you can get the most out of your summer while protecting you and your loved one from UV damage. AFC Urgent Care New Britain wishes everyone a happy 4th of July and hopes that you stay healthy and safe when out on a hike, at a cookout or at the beach.
We’ll be here in case you need us for urgent care needs like tick removals, travel vaccines and medicine, summer camp/sports physicals for kids, COVID-19 testing and a whole lot more!
Walk-in or make an appointment online any day of the week!