UV Radiation vs. Your Skin

UV Radiation vs. Your Skin

Summer sunshine is here. For some of us, that means extended hours outside to soak it in before it’s gone! We encourage you to get outside, but while you’re out there, remember to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays. Dr. Prokop, a primary care provider and dermatology specialist at St. Joe’s, joined us to dive into three consequences of unprotected sun exposure.

  1. Skin cancer- With increased UV ray exposure comes increased risk for all three types of skin cancer: basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and melanoma. Learn more about screening recommendations and when to seek medical opinion here.
  2. Sunburns- Blistering, peeling, soreness. Those who have experienced sunburns know how painful they can be, but you may not realize the long-term risks they pose. Sunburns cause potential damage to the DNA of skin cells, which subsequently increases your risk of skin cancer. Fair skin and inability to tan makes individuals more susceptible to burns, which means these individuals should take extra precaution.
  3. Photoaging (sun damage)- Whether you experience sunburns or not, UV rays greatly accelerate skin aging. These harsh rays are responsible for additional pigmented lesions, excessive freckling, and earlier wrinkling than usual.

This summer, and all year, protect yourself from damaging UV rays with these tips:

  • Always wear sunscreen when you’re outside—even if it’s a cloudy day.
  • Wear hats and clothing to cover your skin.
  • Take extra caution between the hours of 11:00am-4:00pm.
  • Burns are not just a summertime phenomenon. If you find yourself spring skiing or outside performing winter sports, UV rays are still present.

Avoid these three consequences of unprotected sun exposure by protecting your skin.