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Sun Safety

Summer brings sunshine and warm weather! With this sunny weather comes dangers of it's own.

Sunlight is actually composed of three different kinds of light. There's the visible light, the infrared light, and the ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is the light we cannot see and light that causes sunburns and skin cancer. Sunlight is technically a form of radiation, which is fine in small doses, but prolonged exposure without protection is dangerous.

While it is true that those with paler skin burn quicker, it is a myth that people with dark skin are safe from ultraviolet light. Everyone is at risk for skin cancer and it is imporant for people of all complexions to protect their bodies from the sun. Here are some easy ways to protect your skin for the sun's rays:

  • Wear sunscreen that's at least 15 SPF. SPF stands for sun protection factor and a factor 15 SPF means you can be in the sun for about 15 times longer than you normally can. Whether you use SPF 15, 30, or 50, you should re-apply your sunscreen periodically, because sunscreen tends to rub off as you sweat and get dirty or wet.

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses. Did you know your eyes can get sunburned? It is imporant to protect the parts of your body you might not first think of, such as your eyes, neck, and scalp.

  • Wear SPF clothing. Long sleeve, breathable, light colored clothes with SPF protection are great for reducing sun exposure and preventing sunburn and skin cancer.

If you do get sunburned, here are some ways to treat it and lessen the pain:

  • Drink lots of water

  • Take cool baths or showers

  • Take an aspirin or ibuprofen to lessen that pain and fever

  • Use topical cream on the affected area

  • Avoid further sun exposure until the burn has healed

If you have a fever above 101 F, severe pain that lasts longer than 48, or sunburn covering more than 15% of your body, seek medical attention.

Indicators of Skin Cancer

According to the Center for Disease Control, these are common indicators of skin cancer. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, please talk to your doctor or visit a dermatologist.

  • Irregular boards on moles (ragged, notched, or blurred edges)

  • Moles that are not symmetrical (one half doesn't match the other)

  • Colors that are not uniform throughout

  • Moles that are bigger than a pencil eraser

  • Itchy or painful moles

  • New moles

  • Sores that bleed and do not heal

  • Red patches or lumps

One Team. One Vision. One Goal. – Everyone Goes Home Safe!


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