Protecting yourself from ultraviolet rays is very important because most types of skin cancer are caused by excessive exposure to them. Although most are due to exposure to sunlight, they can also be due to exposure to artificial lights such as those used in tanning centers or solar lamps. In this way, people with too much exposure to these types of lights and rays have a higher risk of skin cancer.
Within the ultraviolet rays, we include UVA and UVB rays. The latter have more energy and are more likely to cause certain types of cancer. However, both types of rays can be. There is no type of ray that is 100% safe for the skin. Those that come from the sun can be more or less intense depending on some factors.
For example, the time of day that is, between 10 a.m and 4:00 p.m, they are more intense. In spring and summer they are also more harmful, however, this data is not important if we are near the equator. The further from the equator we are, the less aggressive they are. The altitude is also important, since in higher places more ultraviolet rays arrive. It is also important to know that even if there are clouds, lightning can pass through them and reach the ground. In addition, they can bounce off some surfaces, such as water or snow, which means that if we are close, we have more exposure to them.
There is a tool that helps to know the power of ultraviolet rays that are in a certain region. This can be very useful if you plan to spend the day outside or travel to a new place. In order to prepare properly, there is a service offered by the United States National Weather Service in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They have established a scale of 1 to 11+, the higher the number, the greater the risk of being exposed to ultraviolet rays. This service can be accessed on the EPA website.
Other factors to consider:
In addition to the intensity of the rays, you should also know how long you are exposed, if you should wear sun protection and what type of clothing. People who live in places where there is a greater amount of sun exposure throughout the year have a higher risk of skin cancer. Also those people who work outside or who spend many hours on the street.
There is something called “exposure pattern” that increases risk. For example, being burned very frequently during childhood makes the person more likely to have cancer or skin problems, even several years later.
For this reason, it is very important to always protect yourself from the sun.
Every time a person is in the sunlight, he is exposed to its rays, this accumulates day after day. For this reason, we must always protect ourselves, not only on the days we go to the beach. Sun cream should be part of our daily routine. Even if we do not see the sun, we should also wear sunscreen, because as we have said before, ultraviolet rays pass through the clouds.
Also, you have to stay in the shadow whenever possible. Clothing also helps protect you from the sun’s rays. For example, long sleeves and long pants protect us more because they cover more skin, dark colors protect more than light ones and thick fabrics protect more than thin ones, dry clothes also protect more than wet clothes. For the head you can use scarves, caps, hats … And do not forget about your eyes, you have to wear glasses so that they do not suffer.
If we can, avoid going out between 10 a.m and 4 p.m, which is when they are most intense. A simple way to know if the rays are very intense is to go out in the sun and observe the shadow, if it is shorter than we are, it is a sign that ultraviolet rays are very intense and that therefore we should avoid exposing ourselves to them.
If it cannot be avoided, we must follow the advice we have mentioned before: sunscreen, walking in the shadow, wearing glasses and a scarf or hat on the head. You have to pay special attention on the beach and in the snow, so every two hours it is important to reapply cream and not expose yourself to sunlight for long periods of time. You also have to know that the sun’s rays can pass through the water, so if we are on the beach, the ideal is not to be in the water all the time.
Finally, you have to know that crystals can also help us. These block most UVB rays, but not UVA rays. Polarized lenses do block most UVA rays, but it depends on the manufacturer.