Besides providing us with a wonderful tan, sunlight also provides us with the harmful ultraviolet A or UVA and ultraviolet B or UVB rays. These may get quite harmful as they can be held responsible for the development of premature wrinkling, tissue damage, cell damage, rashes, sunburns and even skin cancer. Exposure to too much sun is actually what triggers all different types of skin changes which are commonly identified with aging. Tan is actually a skin of certain amount of skin damage, but not a lot of people are aware of that. It occurs simply because when exposed to sunlight, the skin tends to produce additional pigment in order to protect itself. This is why exposure to sunlight always needs to be limited and it should always occur in the time of day when the sun is at its weakest. If one has to spend several hours in the sun, it is strongly advised to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. One needs to be well aware of the fact that even sunscreens with high SPF do not protect from all the harmful sun rays. Children should not be exposed to the sun at all. Even though there is no sun, cloudy days also call for the use of sunscreens because the harmful ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. There are also certain types of medicaments which may increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
According to certain statistics, 30 percent of adults in the United States commonly apply sunscreen when spending time out in the sun. 18 percent of them reported that they use some sort of sun protective clothing when spending several hours out in the sun. Every third American citizen usually seeks shade when faced with excessive exposure to sunlight. It is important to stress out that women tend to use different methods of sun protection much more than men do. The situation is not that different among teenagers. There is also a significant percentage of teenagers who tend to use indoor tanning devices. Sunburns occur the most in white teens, and they are closely followed by Hispanic teens, Asian teens and African American teens.
Sunscreens and Sun Protection Factor
There are sunscreens with different sun protection factors or SPFs, but people usually tend to use those with a factor of 15 or even more. This number signifies the amount of time one may spend in the sun without being burned. If a person spends ten minutes in the sun and then applies a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15, he or she should be protected from the sun for the next 150 minutes. Those who intend to spend a lot of time in the sun or who are simply fair skinned should definitely use sunscreens with a higher sun protection factor. Sunscreens can protect from ultraviolet B rays, but there are no systems which may provide protection from the harmful ultraviolet A rays. One should be very careful when choosing a sunscreen because some of them may be held responsible for the onset of allergic reactions. Sunscreen should always be applied before going out and it needs to be reapplied after swimming or heavy perspiration.
Sun protective clothes may be also very helpful in protecting the person from the harmful effects of the sunlight. All such items have a sun protection factor of at least 50 and are commonly made from extremely durable fabrics which dry very quickly and are also characterized by excellent shape retention. Legionnaire style, bucket or broad brim hats are excellent for the sun protection for the ears, neck, head and the face. As already explained, sunscreens are of utmost important and they can be purchased in various different forms such as pumps, tubes and roll on, among others. Sunglasses are an important part of sun protection because they protect the eyes from the harmful effects of sunlight and also provide better viewing clarity. There are also various different types of moisturizing lip glosses, lipsticks, natural cream foundations, tinted moisturizers, face creams and moisturizing body lotions which may be of great help when it comes to protecting the person from the sun. Recent times have also seen the introduction of other helpful products such as sun shelters and marquees. Another important part of sun protection is car window tinting especially for those who spend a lot of time driving or travelling in a car. The special types of window films are used for such purposes in order to block the penetration of as much harmful ultraviolet rays as possible.
Special Precautions for Children
Infants who are less than one year old need to be kept out of direct sunlight at all times, since their skin can easily get irritated. As the child grows older, he or she needs to embrace all the rules of proper sun protection which are normally applied to all adults.