Summer is just around the corner! That means beach vacations, outdoor functions, poolside parties, and lots of sunshine. During this time of year, there is a greater risk of overexposure due to the position of the planet around our star. When we enter the summer months, the planet’s tilt brings us a tiny bit closer to the sun. This not only increases surface temperature but also increases the intensity of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause a wide range of future health problems.
What conditions can be caused by overexposure to UV rays?
UV radiation is classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A carcinogen is any substance that promotes the formation and growth of cancer cells. Not all skin cancer can be traced back to unprotected sun exposure, however, it is currently the leading cause of skin cancer in the United States.
Other sun-related skin issues include premature aging of the skin, actinic keratoses or sunspots, and irregular pigmentation. Fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin become more prominent with repeated exposure as the skin takes on a leather-like texture.
Ultraviolet rays can also cause eye damage. Research has proven that conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium can be linked to UV radiation exposure. Protecting your skin and your eyes is crucial to maintaining these vital organs for a long and healthy life.
How can I protect myself from the negative effects of sun exposure?
Luckily for us, there are plenty of ways to shield yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen and lip balms with an SPF of 30+ provide substantial protection to the skin but must be reapplied according to package instructions for maximum effectiveness. Choose eyewear with 99-100% UV protection, including contacts and glasses. Lightweight, full-coverage clothing can also help to shield your body and keep you cool.
At Roger’s Family Pharmacy, we know that prevention is key to maintaining overall health and wellness. We highly recommend sunscreen with a high SPF rating for anyone planning to be out in the sun for extended periods. Visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.com/sunwise to learn more about protecting you and your family against sun damage, or you may also consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.