Summer Fun in the Sun - Remember to Protect Your Skin

Dated: April 22 2020

Views: 132

           

 Summer is a time for Outdoor Fun 

It is also a time to Protect your Skin

While summer time is one of my favorite times of the year, it is also a time when I must constantaly remind myself to use caution and both dress appropriately, as well as applying sunscreen before going outside.  Protecting your skin is not just for the beach or pool, but should be adhered to any time you head out to go shipping, biking, walking and even when doing yard work.

Recently, I decided that I would 'google' this subject and dive a little deeper into how I can best plan to protect myself through selecting the right clothing, accessories and products that will best shield me from harmful sun rays.  I started with fabric choices.

How to select appropriate clothing

I learned that Polyester has a high rating when it comes to disrupting UV light, as does Nylon.  Wool and silk are modertely effective and Cotton, Rayon, Flax and Hemp fabrics often score lower.   I also learned that darker colors are generally more protection and that as clothing ages it will begin to loose it's UV rating I learned that some clothing brands will actually include, in the label, what the lab-tested UPF rating is.  UPF ratings of 15,20 are considered 'Good' with 6.7-4.2% effective UV transmission.  Next 25,30,35 ratings are 'Very Good' with 41-2.6% transmission and 40,45,50,50+% ratings are considered 'Excellent' with less that 2.5% UV transmission.  

Head and Neck Gear is both fasionable and necessary

Some of the most common places diagnosed with skin cancer is the face, scalp and ears, as well as the neck area!  So keep your hat(s) and neck gear in a convenience place and make it easy to simply grab the protection on the way out.  Hats most appropriate for protection are ones with wide brims.  Some hats actually have extended neck protection.  And many have UPF ratings, look for a UPF of 50.  

Always apply Sunscreen to the Areas not Covered

90% of melanoma cases are thought to be caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight!  SPF is a number indicating how well a sunscreen protects your skin from damage.  UVB rays are the part of the sunlight that causes sunburn, darkening and thickening of the outer layer of the skin, and melanoma and other types of skin cancer.  A good rule of thum is: SPF 15 blocks 93% of the UVB rays, 30 blocks 97%, 50 blocks 98% and SPF 100 blocks 99% of the UVB rays.  Now here is a tip about 'aging skin': UV radiaition also includes UVA rays that account for aging of the skin and can also contribute to skin cancer.  UVA-ray protection is indicatd by a specific term - 'broad specturm'.  Keepin this in mind, read the label to determine if the product protects against both UVB and UVA radication.

Last but not Least - Grab your Sunglasses

Sunglasses are ever so much more than a fashion statement!  Exposing your eyes to UV rays can harm your vision, cause eye issues like cataracts, corneal sunburn, macular degeneration and even skin cancer around the eyelids.  Avoid over exposure and acknowledge the importance of always wearing sunglasses when out-of-doors.  When shopping for sunglasses check the label and look for those offering 100% blocking of ultraviolet light.  

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Linda Stewart

How I discovered the Emerald Coast I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for 22 years and during that time made several vacation trips to the beaches of South Walton County. Each time I visited I was amazed at....

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