UV Safety Awareness Month
Sun safety starts with a little shade and a lot of sunscreen.
It is summertime! The time of the year to pack bags and head for vacation, spend days by the beach or the pool, have fun outdoors playing with friends, and go to picnics with our family. But do you know what else is here? Welcome to the enthralling world of UV Safety Awareness Month, where we embark on an amazing journey to unearth the secrets of the sun and reveal the power of sun protection.
July is observed as UV Safety Awareness Month. The prime focus of celebrating this month is to emphasize the importance of protecting the skin and eyes from the sun’s harmful Ultraviolet Rays (UV Rays).
History Of UV Awareness Month
UV Safety Awareness Month began as a campaign to educate people about the consequences of excessive UV radiation exposure. The celebration originated as a collaborative effort by health organisations, government agencies, and communities all over the world. Every July, the emphasis turns to promoting preventive measures, emphasising the need for sun safety, and encouraging individuals to adopt healthy habits when participating in outdoor activities.
UV Safety Awareness Month 2023 Theme
The topic of UV Safety Awareness Month this year is "Shade and Shield: Protecting What Matters." The subject emphasises the significance of seeking shade as well as wearing adequate protective gear to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays. It serves as a reminder that prevention is the key to maintaining long-term skin health and lowering the risk of sun-related vision disorders.
What Are UV Rays?
UV rays or Ultraviolet rays are the radiations emitted from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps. These are powerful radiations that can cause damage to the skin. There are three types of UV rays:
- UVA rays: These rays can penetrate the skin and cause aging of the skin cells. UVA rays cause wrinkles and fine lines.
- UVB rays: These rays are potent enough to cause direct damage to the skin cells. UVB rays are known for causing damage to the skin in the form of sunburns, skin thickening, and certain skin cancers such as melanoma.
- UVC rays: These rays have the highest energy when compared to the other two types. Due to this, these rays react with the ozone and cannot reach the ground. However, artificial radiation sources like lamps and lasers produce UVC rays.
The Harmful Effects Of UV Rays
- Skin cancer: Excessive UV exposure is a primary factor that puts a person at risk of developing skin cancers (Melanoma, Basal cell carcinoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma).
- Actinic keratosis: It is otherwise also called solar keratosis. It is a scaly, rough patch that develops on the skin as a result of years of exposure to the skin. When left untreated, these patches and spots may progress to form squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
- Premature aging: Excessive unprotected exposure to the sun can cause the skin to age. Thereby causing wrinkles, fine lines, and thickened and leathery skin.
- Sunburns: UV exposure for a long time can lead to sunburns.
- Eye problems: Exposure to excessive UV rays can cause damage to the eyes. It can cause inflammation of the cornea, cataracts, pterygium (a tissue growth that can harm the vision), macular degeneration, and cancer around the skin near the eyes.
- Weakened immune system: UV exposure has been found to weaken the immune system. Thereby weakening the natural defenses of the skin and making it vulnerable.
Don't let the sun steal your glow. Embrace the shade and protect your skin
- Make SPF your best friend: Do not step outside your home without wearing sunscreen. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, and reapply it every two to three hours.
- Protect the exposed skin: Apply sunscreen on all parts of the body exposed to the sun, not just the face.
- Stay indoors: The sun is at its best at midday. Avoid stepping out in the sun between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sun is out on all days: Be it a cloudy day or winter, the sun’s rays can still reach you. So do not skip sunscreen on any day.
- Protective cover-up: Use gloves, hats, scarfs, umbrellas, and long-sleeved shirts and pants for extra protection.
- Protection for the eyes: Wear sunglasses that can block the UV rays. Avoid looking at the sun directly.
UV rays don't take a vacation. Stay protected every day, rain or shine.
Thinking that unprotected exposure to the sun for long will cause a tan is like living in oblivion. Applying sunscreen daily might seem like a task, let alone reapplication every two hours. However, it is necessary to protect your skin in the long run. Remember, we have the ability to shape our sun-kissed destiny. Accept the sun's charm while remaining aware of its potential risks. Allow the cosmic dance of sun safety to mingle with your daily routines, becoming an integral part of the tapestry of your existence. By doing so, we assure a future in which the warmth of the sun becomes a treasured gift, enriching rather than risking our health.