July is Ultra-Violet Safety Month

Now that summertime is upon us, Signature Health Services encourages your patients to take note of these suggestions for guarding against the risk of skin cancer and seeking protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

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July is UV Safety Month

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Check the U.S. Environmental Protection index for your area at epa.gov/enviro/uv-index, and follow these recommendations to help protect your patients and their family.

Shade

You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter before you need relief from the sun. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you’re outside—even when you’re in the shade.

Clothing

When possible, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts can provide protection from UV rays. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection. A wet T-shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one, and darker colors may offer more protection than lighter colors. Some clothing certified under international standards comes with information on its ultraviolet protection factor. If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, at least try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Keep in mind that a typical T-shirt has an SPF rating lower than 15, so use other types of protection as well.

Hat

For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection. If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, or by staying in the shade.

Sunglasses

For the most protection, wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection. If you wear a baseball cap, you should also protect your ears and the back of your neck by wearing clothing that covers those areas, using a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, or by staying in the shade.

Sunscreen

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher before you go outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin. Get help for hard-to-reach places like your back. And remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.

SPF

Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. Higher numbers indicate more protection. You should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher and reapply after 2 hours, and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

For more information on how Signature Health Services can provide you with the best in home healthcare, please call (800) 277-8291 or email information@signaturehealthservices.net.

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