Sun Safety Tips for Older AdultsThursday, July 14, 2022
Protect Your Skin and Eyes From UV Exposure
Recognizing UV Awareness Month
To recognize July as being UV Awareness Month, let’s take a short quiz to test your knowledge of sun safety and UV exposure.
Question: Can you get a sunburn on a cloudy day?
Answer: UV rays are strong all year long.
While clouds may slightly block the rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. That means that a sunburn on a cloudy day is definitely possible. UV rays can also penetrate glass. If you enjoy sitting by a window or on an enclosed patio, remember that those sun rays can still reach and damage your skin if you are not protected.
UV light from the sun can cause short-term and long-term damage to your skin, including skin cancers like melanoma and basal cell carcinoma as well as eye damage like cataracts and eyelid cancers. No matter your age, it is important to continue to be mindful of your sun exposure and take steps to protect your skin and eyes.
The good news is that preventing damage from UV rays is easy to do. When it comes to seniors and sun, we have you covered. These tips will help you and your family members stay safe in the sun all year long:
- Always wear sunglasses. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays to keep your eyes protected from sun glare year-round.
- Dress smart for outdoor activities. Fabrics like cotton and denim are good, breathable choices that also help block UV rays.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours. Between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., the sun’s rays are strong. If possible, plan outdoor activities outside of these hours during the summer.
- Apply sunscreen. When you go outside, you should be wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is water resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Make wearing sunscreen a habit!
We recommend referencing the resources available through the American Cancer Society to learn more about the dangers of UV rays and learn how you can identify the signs of potential skin cancer. If you suspect any of the symptoms of skin cancer, reach out to your primary care doctor.