South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS)
Practice UV Safety
July is UV safety month and we wanted to share some information with you on protecting your skin from sun damage.
Summer is in full swing, and in Texas the hot temperatures and brutal sun seem to stay around much longer than in other locales. Knowing that, it's very important to protect yourself from sun damage.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and is diagnosed in more than 2 million Americans each year. Before heading outside to enjoy the great outdoors, make sure you protect yourself, and your family, from the sun. Here are some precautions to follow:
- Choose the right sunscreen - This is extremely important. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
- Use the right amount of sunscreen - According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it's important that you apply 1 oz (a palmful, or 2 tablespoons worth) of sunscreen every two hours. You should apply it more often when you are sweating or swimming.
- Cover up - Wearing a hat or other shade-protective clothing can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
- Stay in the shade - The sun's glare is most intense at midday. Staying in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. will further protect your skin. The sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter. For this reason, it is important to stay protected throughout the year.
Enjoy the outdoors this summer and remember to protect the skin you're in.
Thanks to VA Employee Wellness for this helpful information.