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July is UV Awareness Month

iStock_000018480286SmallI don’t know about you, but I love the hot summer sun. Days spent at the beach or on the golf course rank way up there in my book. But whether you like sand or snow, it’s always important to be mindful of the dangers of UV radiation.

Here’s the Skinny.

The bad news:  Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people diagnosed annually. The good news:  Skin cancer can be prevented!

Steps you can take to protect yourself from harmful UV rays:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB) with SPF 30 or higher and reapply frequently, one ounce every two hours
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
  • Protect your eyes with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-rated sunglasses
  • Pay attention to the UV index – it ranges from 1-11, the higher the number, the more protection you need.

UV Rays: Learn the Facts about Sunscreen

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an invisible part of the light spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. There are two main types of UV light waves: UVA and UVB. (There is also UVC radiation, but most of those rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and never reach the Earth.) Sunburns are mostly caused by UVB rays, so all sunscreens protect against them. But UVA rays also contribute to skin cancer and premature aging, that’s why it’s important to buy a “broad spectrum” sunscreen which protects against both.

Elk & Elk encourages you to teach your kids about the dangers of UV rays, both from the sun and tanning beds. Set a good sun safety example by making sunscreen application part of your daily routine.