July is National Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month
July is National Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month
July 19, 2021 by eMedEvents

July is National Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Awareness Month

Every July is designated as “Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Month” by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It should come as no surprise that this takes place in July, as this is a major summer month, with increased temperature and sun exposure for much of the country.  The main purpose of this recognition is to make people aware of the importance of protecting skin and eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.  Knowing the hazards of UV radiation and taking steps to reduce this potential damage is something that should be practiced not only during July, but throughout the year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year about 5 million new cases of skin cancer cases are diagnosed and treated in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, damaging the skin and eyes. Skin cancer cases are on the rise at an alarming pace over the past decade, providing yet another reason why taking care of your skin during the summer has become more important than ever before. 

 

What are UV rays?

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the invisible rays coming from the sun that can penetrate and change your skin cells.

There are three types of UV rays:

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA): 

UVA rays are the rays that enter deep into the skin layers causing premature aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles. Comparatively, UVA rays exceed the UVB rays during summer and winter, and stay consistent throughout the year. 

 

  • Ultraviolet B (UVB):   

Sunburn, skin thickening, and different forms of skin cancers like melanoma are primarily due to UVB rays. The rays penetrate the outermost layer of skin, damaging your skin cells, eyes, and immune system.

 

  • Ultraviolet C (UVC): 

The UVC type is the highest and strongest of UV spectrum radiation, but does not reach earth due to the presence of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. These rays cause severe eye and skin injuries even if you were to get exposed for just a few seconds. 

 

Tips to protect yourself from the sun

  1. Wear Sunscreen

Apply SPF 30, or higher, sunscreen regularly at least 15 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days. After swimming or sweating, make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours. Don’t rely just on sunscreen to protect your skin! Follow the other tips to better protect yourself.

  1. Cover up with protective clothing

You can wear SPF clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts as protection against potential UV harm. Colors can play an important role and make a difference while dealing with UV radiation.  If you are planning to swim, make sure that you are wearing a swim shirt. 

  1. Wear a Hat

The hat protects your eyes, forehead, nose, scalp (some of the hardest hit areas of UV rays) and is considered one of the best forms of sun protection. To protect your head, face and neck, wear a broad-rimmed hat.

  1. Avoid Tanning Beds

Tanning beds and sun lamps can release both UVA and UVB radiation and may cause as much harm as the sun. According to the American Cancer Society, the use of tanning beds and sun lamps before the age of 30 increases the risk of melanoma.

  1. Know Your Risk

Certain factors like having lighter skin, family history of melanoma, and a history of blistering sunburns,  increase your skin cancer risks. Therefore, having more awareness about sun safety can be vital to protecting yourself.

  1. Protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Sunglasses act as great protection as they block UV rays from all sides.

 

To know more about Ultraviolet radiation and Skin Cancer, sign up for the below eMedEvents conferences:

  1. Skin Cancer: Non-Melanoma

Organizer: CareerSmart Learning

Start Date: May 04, 2020

End Date: Jul 31, 2023

Credits: CEU 4.5

Ticket Cost: $36

  1. Ultrasound Imaging of Skin Cancer

Organizer: American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)

Start Date: Oct 16, 2018

End Date: Oct 16, 2021

Credits: CME 1

Ticket Cost: $30

  1. Skin Cancer Course

Organizer: The Ohio State Center for Continuing Medical Education (OSUCCME)

Start Date: Sep 25, 2020

End Date: Sep 25, 2023

Credits: CME 1

Ticket Cost: $25

 

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331508886_Awareness_understanding_use_and_impact_of_the_UV_index_A_systematic_review_of_over_two_decades_of_international_research
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49636684_Awareness_to_sun_exposure_and_use_of_sunscreen_by_the_general_population
  3. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun
  4. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/sun-protection
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6534479/
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