I, like many of you, love living in Florida. We have lots of sunshine, sandy beaches, and ocean enjoyment. So, sun safety is always in season for us.

It is important for us to protect our skin and eyes from sun damage throughout the year, even on cloudy days; up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can get through the clouds. Sun damage is caused by invisible ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Spending time in the sun increases the risks of skin cancer and early skin aging. People of all skin colors are at risk for this damage. Incorporate diligent sun safety if you have:

• pale skin;
• blond, red, or light brown hair; or
• been treated for skin cancer or have a family member with a history of skin cancer.

Certain medications can also increase sun sensitivity. It is important to speak with your physician and pharmacist to see if a medication you are taking causes sun sensitivity. Also, see a dermatologist for skin checks regularly and perform self- skin checks. Contact your physician if moles or skin spots change or look suspicious.

We can reduce our risk of sundamage if we follow a few sun safety recommendations which are listed below.

  • Limit your time in the sun, especiallybetween 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., whenthe sun’s rays are most intense. Beingoutdoors is good, however, stay in theshade as much as possible.
  • Wear clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun. Such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, sunglasses, and broad-brim hats are intended. Sun-protectiveclothing is now available and is alsoregulated by the FDA if are used for medical purposes.
  • Apply broad spectrum sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value of 15 or higher regularly and as directed. Broad spectrum sunscreens offer protection against both UVAand UVB rays, two types of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
  • Read the label on your sunscreen product. You want to use yoursunscreen correctly. (Ask your health care professional before applying sunscreen to infants younger than 6 months.)

Because sunlight reflects off sandand water it increases exposure to UV radiation; which increases therisk of also developing eye problems. Sunglasses are a must and can help protect your eyes. When usingsunglasses keep the following in sight:

  • Choose sunglasses labeled with a UVA/UVB rating of 100% to get themost UV protection.
  • Do not mistake dark-tinted sun- glasses as having more UV protection. The darkness of the lens does not indicate its ability to shield your eyesfrom UV rays. Many sunglasses with light-colored tints, such as green, amber, red, and gray can offer the same UV protection as very dark lenses.
  • Protect children. They need to also wear sunglasses with UV protection.Toy sunglasses may not have UV protection, so look for the UV protection label.
  • Consider large, wraparound-style frames, which may provide moreef cient UV protection because they cover the entire eye-socket. (They protect the eyes from the sides.)

    Pricey sunglasses don’t always meanyou are buying greater UV protection. Sunglasses are more effective when worn with a wide-brim hat.

    Research indicates that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world. Let’s take some precautions  and enjoy the sunshine (and cloudy days) safely.


Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast