July Is UV Safety Month


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man-1464787_960_720.jpgAh, balmy summer days!  Summer is a great time for your aging parents to go to the beach or pool and get a nice, deep tan. However, those pesky ultraviolet (UV)  rays can cause problems for those who don't take precautions.

July is UV Safety Month, a perfect time to remember that catching some rays can come with a cost for aging parents and others spending some leisure time outdoors.  More than 60,000 people develop melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer, every year.

Too much?  Too little?

It’s a bit of a catch-22: spending time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air has health benefits, but spending too much time in the sun or being outside unprotected can cause skin cancer.

The answer?  Know the dangers and practice good prevention so that you can be outdoors without putting yourself at risk.

Who’s at risk?

Skin cancer can affect anyone, but some people are more likely to be more at risk than others. Such individuals  include those who:

have freckles, fair skin, or fair hair.
burn easily.
have many moles.
“binge” on sunlight (e.g., stay indoors all week and then spend a lot of time outdoors on the weekend).
spend a great deal of time in the sun.
have previously been treated for skin cancer or have a history of skin cancer in their families.
take certain medications that promote photosensitivity. Such medications include some antibiotics, acne medicines, and malaria prevention drugs.  (To be safe, ask your doctor or pharmacist if any drugs you take may cause photosensitivity.)

What can aging parents do?

There are many steps that aging parents and others can take to prevent undue exposure to the sun. A few of these are:

Keep out of the sun.  Try to avoid the sun when it’s at its strongest, which is generally between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  If you can get your extended outdoor time earlier in the morning or in the evening, you'll experience less exposure to strong sunlight.

Keep the sun out of you.  Protect your eyes with sunglasses designed to keep out UVA and UVB rays. Find a nice, sharp-looking hat with a decent brim.  Cover up as much our your skin as possible.  Your clothes should be lightweight, but not made of mesh or other loosely-woven fabrics that can let sunlight in.

Use sunscreen.  Applying sunscreen before going out is very important.  Make sure it has an SPF of 15 or higher.  Also, remember that you may need to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you are someone who sweats a great deal.

Do a little self-examining.  It’s a good idea to regularly check your skin for changes, such as moles that have changed color, stubborn sores that don’t go away, or any other noticeable changes.  If you find anything, let your doctor know.  It’s likely that it may be nothing you need worry about, but it’s always better to check and be sure.

Aging parents don’t need to let fear of overexposure to sunlight keep them from enjoying themselves during the summer.  A little proper preparation before venturing out can make a big difference.

Resources:


Related Article

Be Careful of Sunscreen Choice - newportnews.myhomecareblog.com

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