Here comes the sun: What you need to know about sun safety
SAN DIEGO: Summer is almost here and practicing sun safety not only during the summer months but the entire year, is critical to skin cancer prevention. Sun protection, like sunscreen, is necessary year-round. Oceans, lakes, sand, and snow all reflect the sun’s rays helping to increase exposure to the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. During overcast days, ultraviolet rays penetrate even the darkest clouds, belying their potential to create sun damage.
One of the simplest ways of avoiding adverse effects from the sun is to avoid outdoor exposure between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, which is the optimal time of vulnerability. And fun.
What to wear
Wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, gloves, sunglasses and other forms of protective wear provide effective mechanisms for minimizing sun exposure, avoiding skin damage.
Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is smart, not only for preventing skin cancer but also in regards to anti-aging, with its ability to reduce skin wrinkles, unsightly sun spots, and other visible forms of skin damage. It is important to be aware that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours and reapplied immediately after swimming.
If you are traveling to a tropical location you want to be sure to purchase sunscreen that will not harm tropical waters or the coral reefs. (Reef Safe Sunscreen: Our Guide to Ocean-Friendly Sun Protection)
What kind of sunscreen?
And don’t forget about your dog. Apply sunscreen appropriately to your best friend as well.
According to the Sun Safety Alliance, less than one-third of American youth practice effective sun protection.
Eighty-percent of all sun damage and skin cancers which develop later in life are a result of the damage which occurs by the age of 18.
Children, as well as adults, need the benefits provided by overall sun protection.
Use sunscreens which offer both UVA and UVB protection and a minimum SPF of 15, if not even higher. Remember to cover all areas of the body with sunscreen including hands, arms, legs, face, nose, ears, and lips.
For those who are balding or have thinning hair remember to wear a cap or hat, preferably one which is broad-brimmed. If sunscreen is preferred, use spray or cream on top of the head.
Pets in the sun
Dogs are also particularly vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, especially those with white hair, thin skin or short coats.
Applying sunscreen to the family Fido is also important. Using one safe for babies and does not contain either zinc oxide or salicylates is best. Zinc is toxic to pets. (The Best Dog Sunscreen (2019 Reviews)
Consult a veterinarian and determine if a sunscreen is helpful. Best decisions will depend upon the breed of the dog and if there any allergies.
Remember also to purchase dog-friendly protective eyewear for any extensive outdoor activities and minimize sun exposure. As with humans, it is possible for dogs to develop cataracts and eye cancers caused by the sun.
The Sunshine Vitamin
Something to keep in mind is that with the growing popularity of practicing sun safety, remember that what goes inside is as important as outside. Vitamin D is commonly known as the sunshine vitamin since the sun is its primary conduit into the human body.
Vitamin D also plays an essential role in stimulating positive genetic activity within the human body.
Lacking adequate levels of vitamin D can be anathema to good health. Low Vitamin D levels areca root cause for the development of cancers, depression, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and more.
Talking with a trusted medical professional about adequate vitamin D levels is extremely important in preventing disease. A simple blood test will determine if you need to add vitamin D to your health return.
Practicing sun safety during the summer and throughout all the seasons of each year will reduce the potentially harmful effects of sun exposure for all members of the family–including Fido!
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!