“Doctor, I get tanned easily. What are various sun protection methods?” The sun provides us warmth, light and life. That’s not all! Sun also showers damaging UV rays onto our beautiful skin; this article highlights how ultraviolet rays damages skin and what measures can be taken to negate it!
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What are ultraviolet rays (UVR)?
Ultraviolet rays (UVR) are a part of rays emitted by sun and consist of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. Out of the three, the most damaging UVC rays are filtered by ozone layer; UVB comprises roughly 5%, and rest of 95% are UVA rays. Unlike weaker UVB rays which are implicated in sunburns and skin cancers, UVA rays are powerful enough to penetrate glass, and they contribute to skin ageing and pigmentation even indoor or while driving.
What are the various sun protection methods?
Various methods of protecting your skin from the sun are:
- Avoid Sun: First and foremost is to schedule your outdoor activities either in the early morning or late nights; thus avoid going out especially when the sun is high between 10 am to 4 pm.
- Cover yourself: UVB rays are maximum when your shadow is shorter than your height. At all such times, cover your face with a thick cloth through which you cannot see the sun or take an umbrella.
- Wear sun protective clothing: Get trendy! Wear a broad-brimmed (brim of at least 4 inches) hat and sunshades, but do prefer full sleeves. While choosing your attire, remember that dark coloured closely woven fabrics block UV rays more effectively. Also, seek shade whenever possible.
- Seek shade: Whenever possible, carry an umbrella with you or seek the shade of buildings, trees, etc.
- Sunscreens: Of course, the daily use of sunscreen is highly recommended especially if you wish to look young. To know more about sunscreens read the article, Sunscreens – FAQs!
But, why should I protect my skin from UV rays?
Just think why the skin of covered parts like thighs or abdomen looks younger than your face? UV rays not only accelerate ageing; but also increase chances of getting blemishes, freckles, skin cancers, sunburn and photosensitive rashes.
What are the times when I should protect myself from the sun?
Most patients argue that they are not exposed to the sun at all; but the truth is that the most potential times for sun exposure are ignored, like:
- While driving (whether two or a four-wheeler), UV rays, especially UVA rays, penetrate through the glasses of car or helmet.
- Even exposure as short as drying clothes in the sun or bringing children from school can cause the damage.
- Sun rays that enter your room at the office or home also bring in UV rays along. You can either put curtains on or wear sunscreens with SPF of at least 15.
Going on a vacation? Do not forget your sunscreen.
UV rays exposure increases considerably at
- the hills
- desert because sand reflects UV rays back onto your skin
- Beaches because water reflects UV rays back onto your skin.
So, whether you holiday on hills, seaside or desert, protect your skin from the sun.