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Stay Safe in the Summer Sun

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer there is.

It is largely preventable by reducing exposure to the sun.

The obvious choice would be to avoid the sun at all costs, however, that is not practical nor warranted as we need the sun to get the precious Vitamin D.

The sun emits two types of ultraviolet UV radiation that reaches our skin.

UVA and UVB, both damage unprotected skin, but how they go about doing this differs.

UVA rays are considered to be the sun’s silent killer, unlike UVB rays. We do not feel the effects of UVA rays damaging our skin.  UVA rays are the cause of tanning, and unless you burn first , getting a tan isn’t painful – but those unfelt UVA rays are reaching deep into the skin, causing havoc with every layer.

UVA rays penetrate farther into the skin than UVB rays, steadily destroying key substances in the skin that gives it its firmness and elasticity. UVA is the leading cause of wrinkles and a cause of or major contributor to every type of skin cancer.

One more difference is that UVA rays penetrate glass, while UVB rays do not.

The SPF rating on sunscreen is related to UVB rays.  To ensure adequate protection from UVA as well as UVB look for a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum”. This shows it has been tested tested to provide effective protection against both UVA and UVB rays.