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July is UV Awareness Month

Jul 5, 2021

July is UV Awareness Month

While most people have been having some fun-in-the-sun since Memorial Day, July becomes the time when more activities and gatherings head outdoors. Unfortunately, that hot summer sun brings some harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that can result in painful sunburns and lead to skin cancer. This year, take the time to make your skin health a priority, and what better time to learn about proper skin care and protection than during UV Awareness Month?

What Are Ultraviolet Rays?

Ultraviolet rays, or UV radiation, are harmful rays that come directly from sunlight or the bulbs in tanning beds. These rays are broken up into two types: UVA and UVB. The UVA rays are mainly responsible for causing premature aging, age spots, eye injuries, cataracts, and genetic damage to the skin. UVB rays are those that commonly cause sunburns and could eventually lead to skin cancer or melanoma, which is the most common cancer in the U.S. One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that protection from UV rays with sunscreen and other means is only necessary in the summer. However, UV protection is necessary year-round, even on cloudy or cool days.

Protecting Yourself & Loved Ones from Harmful UV Rays

Thankfully, there are several ways you can protect yourself and others from the sun’s harmful rays. First and foremost, you should always use a broad spectrum sunscreen as it is designed to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Always opt for one that has an SPF of 15 or higher, and don’t forget to regularly reapply throughout your time outside.

In addition to sunscreen, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, whether it’s under an umbrella on the beach, under a tree in the park, or under the roof on your own porch. It will protect you from rays and keep you cool. Your clothing is also a vital piece of protection. It may seem counterintuitive in the summer, but breathable, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts offer excellent protection. Although tightly-woven fabric offers the best protection, simply tossing on a t-shirt or cover-up is better than nothing. Hats are also a great way to provide a bit of sun blockage for your face and, depending on the design and type of hat, could also offer protection for your neck and shoulders.

Medical Help for Overexposed Skin

Unfortunately, even with our best attempts at protection, sunburns happen. If you need help for sunburn relief, or have questions about sun protection, visit any of our convenient Midwest Express Clinic locations today. We are here to serve everyone in our communities with the urgent care speed you need and the primary care attention you deserve.

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