UV Safety Awarness Month

Written by S. Heath - 5 July 2023

Tags: news

How to keep you and your skin safe this summer...

What Is UV Safety Awareness Month About?

UV Safety Awareness Month is all about being aware of how UV (Ultraviolet) light, radiation emited from the sun, can harm you and your skin if unprotected. It's classified into three types; UVA, UVB and UVC. Whilst the ozone layer can block most damaging UVC light, UVA and UVB can pass through. UVC light can also come from artificial sources such as sunlamps and tanning beds. 

How Can UV Light Be Harmful?

The Gobal Solar UV Index (or, UVI) describes the level of solar UV radiation at the Earth's surface. The higher the index value, the greater the potential for damage to skin and eyes. Whilst invisible, radiation from UV light is always present, even when you can't necessarily see or feel the sun. Damage can come in more forms than just wrinkles and sunburn, such as its links to the development to skin cancer, as well as eye damage such as cataracts, cornea damage and vision loss in the longterm. 

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

  • Use at least a 30 SPF sunscreen to protect against UVB, that has at least a 4 star UVA protection
  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, and to avoid looking directly into the sunlight
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • Try to keep in the shade between 11am-3pm if possible

What Do I Do If I Have A Sun Burn?

  • Sponge sore skin with cool water, then apply soothing aftercun scream or spray (e.g. aloe vera)
  • Take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease the pain and reduce any inflammation
  • Stay out of the sun until all signs of redness have gone
  • Seek medical help if you feel unwell or the skin swells badly or blisters! 

Who Should Take Extra Care In The Sun?

  • People with fair, or light-brown skin (please note, whilst those with naturally brown or black skin are less likely to get skin cancer due to having some protection against UV rays, it is still important to take care as people of all skin tones can develop skin cancer)
  • People with freckles, red or fair hair
  • Those who tend to burn rather than tan
  • Those with many moles
  • Those with skin issues relating to a medical condition
  • People who are only exposed to intense sun occasionally (e.g. on holiday)
  • Those who are in a hot country where  the sun is particularly intense
  • Those with family history of skin cancer