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At the height of the summer season, there’s nothing but sunshine, but enjoying the sun comes with many questions. Is being out in the sun safe or not and how much sun is too much? How do we balance getting enough sunlight to lift the spirit and provide the important production of critical vitamin D while avoiding sunburn and damage from UV light?

UV, or ultra violet light, comes from the sun and is invisible to the human eye. These rays, present in sunlight, tanning beds and sun lamps, possess enough energy to break chemical bonds within the body. Regular, daily exposure without the protection of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing can challenge the skin, the body’s most important line of defense. For the proper healthcare of your family in Casper, we encourage limited sun exposure with an element of UV safety.

Finding a Balance

So, how do you avoid a painful sunburn and potentially life-threatening melanoma while still benefitting from the good things the sun provides? Enjoying safe sun exposure begins by considering who you are and your genetic makeup. This includes examining everything from the color of your skin to medications you’re taking that could trigger harmful interactions with sun exposure.

Family Health Care Sun Protection Steps

Add Another Layer – In addition to daily applications of sunscreen, clothing can add another layer of protection for skin. This includes wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. While it might seem strange to cover up when it’s hot, clothing layers protect the skin from unnecessary burns, which cause the body to work harder to counteract sun damage. Look for clothing items with added skin protection factor (SPF) and don’t forget to add a hat and sunglasses rated to filter UVA and UVB rays.

Avoid a Burn – One sunburn doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time but all sun damage builds. Therefore, start safe sun practices early to protect children’s delicate skin from sunburn. Repeated burns over a lifetime increase the chance of melanoma. Severe burns produce peeling and blisters along with hidden, below-the-surface damage to the skin cells.

Check out the Surface – Often we think about UV and sun-related damage coming from above, but the effect of UV damage is multiplied at high altitude and when reflected off other surfaces such as water, sand, snow and building surfaces. Shade also does not decrease the chance of sunburn. Consider limiting daily sun exposure to before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Take comfort in enjoying the sun wisely by making smart sun and UV care a year-round practice.

The primary physicians at the Summit Medical Center represent more than 130 years of combined family healthcare in Casper. To learn more about family healthcare in Casper, Wyoming, contact our specialists at (307) 232-6600 or visit www.SummitMedicalCasper.com

Remember, you always have a choice in your healthcare. Summit Medical Center offers orthopaedics; ear, nose and throat; pediatrics, gastrointestinal; primary care; general surgery, pulmonary; and plastic surgery to the Casper, Wyoming, area. With cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service, Summit Medical Center is changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.

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