Guide to Skin Protection

By: Alien

Solar radiation, and ultraviolet (UV) light in partictilar, is increasing worldwide with the thinning of the protective ozone layer. Over 90% of ultraviolet radiation is UVA, which is most intense in early morning and afternoon, can pass through window glass, penetrates into the dermis, and causes tanning and wrinkling. UVB is most pronounced midday, does not penetrate window glass, and is associated with sunburn. Ultraviolet liglit hasbeen implicated in multiple human diseases from skin cancer tocataracts to immune suppression.

It's important to shield your children's skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Solar radiation, and ultraviolet (UV) light in partictilar, is increasing worldwide with the thinning of the protective ozone layer. Over 90% of ultraviolet radiation is UVA, which is most intense in early morning and afternoon, can pass through window glass, penetrates into the dermis, and causes tanning and wrinkling. UVB is most pronounced midday, does not penetrate window glass, and is associated with sunburn. Ultraviolet liglit hasbeen implicated in multiple human diseases from skin cancer tocataracts to immune suppression.

How does the sun damage the skin?

Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet light, UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are short-waved and cause sunburn and skin cancers. Sunlight on the skin creates "free radicals" or reactive oxygen molecules. These high-energy molecules act like "pin-balls" which hit the skin and damage it.

Don't forget fun food. Crackers, fruit, and cheese all make nice car snacks. Sunglasses that block UV rays protect eyes and the surrounding tender skin. All sunglasses are not the same. Effective sunglasses should block both UVA and UVB radiation. Large lenses that fit close to the eyes are best. Those that block visible blue light are even safer. Tanning booths and sunlamps are not a safe alternative to natural sun. They use UV rays that can cause damage. Encourage your children to appreciate the beauty of their natural skin tone. Prolonged exposure can damage the skin. Typical cotton T-shirts offers sun protection equal to only SPF. Excessive exposure to sunlight during early childhood is harmful to the eyes. Sunlight contains harmful UV radiation.

Sun Facts

* Research shows a link between sunburns in children and an increased risk of melanoma and skin cancer later in life.
* Protecting skin from the sun during childhood and adolescence is important in reducing cancer risk later in life.
* Ultraviolet (UV) rays reflect off water, sand, and snow. UV rays also reach below water's surface.

Protection from the sun's harmful rays is just a wash away?

For runners, people who work outdoors and others who are frequently outdoors, Dr. Chon recommends investing in clothing with built-in UVA blockers to provide an extra layer of protection. Many outdoor and sports clothing brands sell lightweight trendy gear that offer up to 50+ UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). Another good option is to wash clothes in a specialty detergent that boosts the UPF of your everyday clothes for up to 20 washes. Dr. Chon notes this great for parents who find it hard to keep constant tabs on their child's sunscreen habits during long summer days, and can be particularly useful when preparing for summer day and overnight camps.

Tips to Protect Your Skin:

* Choose a sunblock that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
* Wear a hat and, if possible, long sleeves .

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