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Your Skin in the Sun

Did you know that unprotected sun exposure can lead to irreversible sun-damaged skin?

Have you examined your skin closely? Symptoms of sun-damaged skin include loss of skin tone, freckles, age spots, broken capillaries, redness, and premature wrinkling. Unprotected sun exposure can prematurely age the skin and lead to skin cancer.

UVA and UVB Rays

The sun is the primary source of UV radiation which produces many types of UV rays that reach us via sunlight. The most common rays are ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B, UVA and UVB. Both types of rays affect your skin health. Although UVA uses 95% of the sun's rays and UVB uses 5% of the sun's rays, both can cause serious harm like skin cancer.

UVA rays are more penetrating than UVB and cause 'immediate tanning'. Let's agree that a suntan is, in fact, a burn. Depending on the degree of the burn, whether it's a light tan, sun-kissed or red-lobster look.

It affects the cells deep in the skin and causes indirect damage to your DNA. It can also reach you through windows and clouds.

UVB affects the top layer of your skin, epidermis and is responsible for 'delayed tanning'. Sunburn typically shows a couple of hours after sun exposure, and these rays are partially absorbed through the clouds but still reach the earth directly damage your DNA.

How to Protect Yourself

The sun's UV radiation is the highest during the spring and summer months between 10 am to 4 pm.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection with at least an SPF of 30. Don't forget the ears, neck and chest area.

Sunscreen does wear off and needs to be re-applied every two hours.

UV rays can reflect off surfaces such as water and pavement.

Cover up with a hat and long sleeves, UV protecting sunglasses and try to stay in the shade as much as possible.

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the skin when exposed to the sun, essential for promoting muscle and bone health. It also can protect you from disease and boost your immune and neurological systems. Studies show you can still maintain your vitamin D levels by wearing sunscreen daily. Be mindful of your time outside under the sun, cover up and stay protected.

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