There would be no life on earth without the sun. But, despite our vital need for the sun, its radiation is dangerous for our health. Solar radiation consists of several types of rays: gamma rays, infrared rays, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and sunlight visible to the human eye. The human body is most affected by ultraviolet rays, which make up 8% of all solar radiation.
Surely each of us would be glad to find himself on a warm and sunny day sitting on cosy outdoor furniture or having a rest on swimming pool furniture. And it’s really wonderful! After all, being in the fresh air is very useful, and the sun’s rays in a small amount give your skin vitamins. However, you should be careful with the straight rays, and under the bright sun in the daytime, you’d better use a beach umbrella and sun protection. Use the garden of your home with beach furniture with pleasure, but don’t forget to take care of your skin and health.
Certain risk groups are more sensitive to solar radiation. These risk groups include, among others, fair-skinned people, people who burn easily in the sun, red-haired and light-eyed people, people with a lot of freckles and moles, infants, the elderly, people taking medication that increases sun sensitivity, athletes, those who train in the sun and those who work in the sun.
One of the most common dangers that await us in the summer is dehydration, which happens when the water level in the body is disturbed. Dehydration usually develops during intense exercise. Thus, dehydration can contribute, directly or indirectly, to the development of heat stroke.
Let’s take a look at some recommendations about protecting your skin and health:
Use sunscreen properly:
It is crucial to apply it half an hour before going out in the sun. Another rule is the amount of cream. One teaspoon should be applied to each part of the body that is exposed to the sun. For example, one teaspoon for the face, one for each arm and leg, and so on. It should be applied even to the ears and toes!
If you do not apply enough cream, then the level of protection decreases. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.
Some sunscreens contain beneficial ingredients and provide additional skin care. Therefore, always pay attention to the composition and choose the best option for your type and skin condition. For example, sunscreens with peptides are perfect for ageing skin prone to loss of elasticity and wrinkles, and products with silk proteins and pearl extract will help you fight age spots.
When the sun is at its strongest (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), seek shade whenever possible. This reduces your overall exposure to harmful UV rays.
Clothing with sleeves is not only for the winter season:
Things made of natural and light fabrics will perfectly protect you from sunburn and overheating in the sun. Try to use long-sleeved shirts, because they can be conveniently unbuttoned or buttoned up at any time. In addition, such clothes are loose enough to allow your body to breathe.
It is not only a fashion accessory but also a means of protecting delicate areas of the skin on your face. The most important thing to remember when choosing this piece of clothing is to choose a model that provides full protection.
Be careful with reflective surfaces:
Some reflective surfaces can increase UV exposure. Take extra precautions and apply sunscreen more often when you spend time near such ones.
Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps:
Such unnatural ways of getting a tan put your skin at risk even more than the natural sun. If you do not have an urgent need to use this method of tanning, then it is better not to use it.
The key rule in the summer is drinking water. Thirst is supposed to protect our body, but this mechanism is not sensitive enough, and therefore it can happen that the body begins to lose water even before we feel thirsty. Among healthy people, the colour of urine can serve as an indicator of the level of water in the body. Very light urine indicates that the person is drinking enough fluids, while dark urine indicates a need to drink.
Check your meds:
Some of them can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine if any of your medications have photosensitizing effects.
Perform regular skin checks:
Keep an eye out for any changes in your skin, such as new moles, growths, or changes in existing moles. If you notice anything suspicious, consult a dermatologist for evaluation.
Thus, the sun is man’s friend. Its rays are useful in small quantities. Remember, sun protection should be practised year-round, not just during the summer months or when it’s sunny outside. The most important thing is to follow the recommendations and avoid skin burns.