Be Smart in the Sun – During UV Safety Awareness Month [5 Tips to Limit UV Exposure]

July 12, 2019 | By: Raleigh Orthopaedic Team

July is UV Safety Awareness Month, but it is important to be mindful of skin protection throughout the entirety of the year. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), ultra-violet (UV) radiation exposure is the root cause of most skin cancers.

According to the FDA, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans are at risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetime. Exposure to natural and artificial ultraviolet (UV) light has a direct impact on a person’s risk of developing skin cancer — regardless of age, or skin type. 

Here are some tips to help you be smart, while exposed to the UV light of the sun during July and the summer months.

1. Make an effort to wear protective clothing and seek shade

Try not to expose your body to direct sunlight. Wearing light clothing, which covers your body, or staying in the shade is the way to go. If possible, wear sunglasses, even if you think you are protected by the shade of trees.

2. Use checked and approved UV protection products

Make sure that the products you use deliver their advertised benefits. The products you use must be effective at protecting you from harmful UV radiation and safe to use on yourself and your family.

For instance, the FDA issued many warnings against advertised marketing products, such as Advanced Skin Brightening FormulaSunsafe RxSolaricare and Sunergetic. The statement is that they put people’s health at risk by giving consumers a false sense of security that a dietary supplement could prevent sunburn, reduce early skin aging caused by the sun, or protect from the risks of skin cancer. 

3. Use safe sunscreen products

Choose broad spectrum sunscreen products with SPF 15, or higher. If you plan to immerse your body in water while exposed to sun, make sure that your sunscreen is water resistant.

The products you use should have one of two ingredients: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which according to the FDA are safe and effective. On the other hand, two other ingredients: aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and trolamine salicylate are proposed as unsafe and ineffective for sunscreen use. All other ingredients currently used for sunscreen products don’t have enough data yet to be proposed as safe.

Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, and more often if you’re sweating, or jumping in and out of the water. Ask a healthcare professional before applying sunscreen to infants younger than 6 months.

4. Limit your sun exposure

Limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense. Remember that your children, and especially infants, have thinner and more delicate skin than yours, so even when you feel the sun doesn’t affect you, they are at risk of serious sunburns.

We have prepared these tips for you because we care about your general health, not only your orthopedic needs. Our goal is to share our knowledge, so that you and your family stay safe and healthy. 

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Make an appointment with your surgeons in Raleigh (or our other locations) to benefit from our specialized treatment with a personal approach.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.