The dangers from ultraviolet radiation are always present, and if you spend any amount of time in the sun, it’s important to protect yourself. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be on a sunny beach to receive exposure to UV rays. The damaging effects of ultraviolet light can reach your skin even on hazy and cloudy days. Light from the sun can also reflect off of snow, sand, cement, and water, and if your skin isn’t protected, your risk of developing skin cancer increases. Fortunately, you can take steps to help prevent this disease.
The Dangers of Indoor Tanning
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer is to avoid indoor tanning. The popularity of indoor tanning has decreased over time, but every year, millions of Americans find themselves inside a tanning bed.
Several studies show the dangers of indoor tanning. Although the UV radiation is the main problem, you could also get an infection from contaminated equipment. Some other negative effects of indoor tanning include premature wrinkles and injuries, so it may be better to avoid indoor tanning all together.
Skin Cancer Is on the Rise
While the occurrence of most types of cancer is declining, more people are developing skin cancer. The good news is that most people know about the dangers of tanning, and to reduce their risk of skin cancer, they are choosing to avoid tanning indoors.
The bronzed appearance that you get from tanning might look appealing, but you must remember that the color is caused by damaged skin. Some people think that having a base tan helps protect against the dangers of UV radiation. Unfortunately, this belief is not true. To reduce your risk, it’s better to avoid a base tan and instead cover your skin with a product designed to protect against UV rays.
No UV Exposure Is Safe
Another common belief is that a minimal amount of UV exposure is safe, but the reality is that no amount of UV exposure is safe. When traveling or going outside, it’s a good idea to use a multi-layered approach, which can consist of hats, sunglasses, protective clothing, and sunscreen. You should wear sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher and reapply it every two hours.
Avoid Peak Exposure Times
Exposure from ultraviolet radiation peaks during the middle of the day and lasts for about four hours. The light from the sun is also very strong in the morning hours. To avoid unnecessary exposure, you should schedule events outside of these peak hours.
It’s a good idea to schedule activities for later in the day, which will prevent excessive exposure to UV radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is also strongest during early summer and late spring. The power of the sun’s UV rays also increases closer to the equator and at high altitudes.
Your first line of defense is protective clothing, but you should always wear sunscreen. It’s impossible to completely avoid the sun, but by following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.
In addition to the steps you can take yourself, the experts at Viva Wellness Medical Group offer many treatments designed to rejuvenate your skin and reverse the damage that could ultimately lead to skin cancer. To learn more about the services we provide, contact our office in San Diego and schedule your consultation.