UV Rays, Sunburns, and Summertime

​July is UV Protection awareness month. UV stands for Ultraviolet rays, which is a type of radiation produced by the sun that causes sunburns. UV can also damage the eyes, cause premature aging, and skin damage, which can lead to skin cancer. However, ultraviolet rays are the best natural source of vitamin D, also known as the “happiness vitamin.”
You may have heard of something called the UV index which is a scale by which the intensity of ultraviolet rays is measured. The scale starts at 1 and goes to 11+, any UV index above a 3 requires sunburn prevention. Ultraviolet rays are invisible and can’t be seen or felt until your skin is already damaged and the destruction is irreversible.
If you have a sunburn the only way to heal it is to wait patiently, here are a few tricks to speeding up the healing process.

  1. Drink lots of Water, Your Probably dehydrated as well as sunburnt!
  2. Apply Cold or Cool Compresses or Bathe the area in cold water (Avoid using soap as this may irritate your skin).
  3. Don’t pop blisters as this can cause infection.
  4. Talk to a local pharmacist to find the best products to soothe your skin. Choose a spray-on solution rather than a cream applied by hand.

You should see your doctor or seek treatment from your nearest hospital emergency department if you experience symptoms including:

  • severe sunburn with extensive blistering and pain
  • sunburn over a large area
  • headache
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever
  • dizziness or altered states of consciousness.

Of course, the best way to cure Sunburn is to prevent it from happening. Here are four ways to prevent sunburns.

  1. Wear Sunscreen of at least 25- 50 SPF (A rating of anything above 50 SPF has the same level of efficacy), even on cloudy days, and make sure to reapply it every hour while you are out in the sun.
  2. Check your local UV index and don’t go outside during high-intensity times, usually from around 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon.
  3. If you plan on being outside for a prolonged amount of time buy yourself a sun shirt. You can find these protective shirts on Amazon for less than twenty dollars.
  4. Wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent damage to your eyes. Even young children should wear sunglasses while outside.