General Interest

How to protect yourself from UV rays and avoid skin cancer

Extreme heat is here. You need to take more care than ever of your skin and your body. Exposure to the sun can become unhealthy if you don’t follow the experts’ recommendations.

Almost all types of skin cancer, with few exceptions, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, coming from both sunlight and tanning beds. That is why it is necessary to take certain precautions when exposing yourself.

Several factors can make skin exposure to UV rays riskier, especially at this time of the year when you have to try to stay out of the sun between 11 am and 4 pm.

It is a common belief that sunscreen should be used when we are in the pool or on the beach, but sun exposure is cumulative and it does not matter where one is exposed to the sun’s rays.

There are some precautions you can take to protect yourself. The American Cancer Society uses a phrase that can be summed up in four words: If you are going to be in the sun, “Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap” is a catchphrase that can help you remember some of the key steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays:

Slip on a shirt.
Slop on sunscreen.
Slap on a hat.
Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them.

It is important to protect your skin with clothing: long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and skirts that cover your legs. Contrary to popular belief, dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. Heavier weave fabrics offer better protection than looser weave fabrics. Also, dry clothing generally protects better than wet clothing.

Consider sunscreen as part of your skin cancer protection plan, especially if you don’t have shade and protective clothing as your first choices. Sunblocks are available in many forms (lotions, creams, ointments, gels, sprays, wipes, and lip balms, to name a few). According to skin type (SPF), the sun protection factor is important but remember that there is no one capable of completely blocking UV rays.

After exposure, it is important to apply nourishing lotions to hydrate the skin or regenerate if damaged. But remember, sunscreen is the best way to protect yourself from skin cancer.  

The sun’s rays also pass through house windows and car windows. Tinted lenses can be useful to reduce the impact.

The protection of children and babies deserves special attention: by spending more time outdoors, they can sunburn more easily and won’t be aware of the damage. Everything said above applies to children. And also, as they grow, they must be educated in this regard, to know the damage that extreme exposure to the sun can cause.

Babies under six months should not be exposed in any way to sunlight and should be protected with hats and clothing. Sunscreen is recommended for parts of the body that cannot be covered with clothing.

We know that it is very nice to be tanned, but we recommend doing it naturally, gradually and in the hours allowed. Remember that most doctors and health organizations do not recommend tanning beds or sun lamps at all.

With extreme heat, you need to take a lot of care. Stay hydrated permanently, avoid heatstroke, eat lighter by incorporating lots of fruit and vegetables and enjoy the summer without your body and skin suffering the consequences.


You can also find more trusted local services in your community at download the Boyle Heights Resources app.


Source: American Cancer Society



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