RRH Newsletter Summer 2023


When it comes to safeguarding our skin from harmful UV rays, sunscreen often comes to mind as the first line of defense. While sunscreen is undoubtedly essential, there are additional measures we can take to effectively protect our skin. The Ridgecrest Regional Hospital team is here to explore other ways to shield your skin from UV rays. THE DANGERS OF UV RAYS Understanding the dangers of UV rays is crucial in emphasizing the importance of protecting our skin. Prolonged or excessive exposure to UV radiation can have severe consequences, including sunburn, premature skin aging, eye damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. Both UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the skin, causing DNA damage, suppressing the immune system and leading to the development of skin cancer over time. By being aware of these risks, we can take proactive steps to shield our skin and prioritize our long-term skin health. SUN-PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: COVERING UP FOR SAFETY Wearing sun-protective clothing is a highly effective way to shield your skin from UV rays. These garments are specifically designed to provide an extra layer of protection against the sun. Look for clothing labeled with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating, which indicates how effectively the fabric blocks UV radiation. Long-sleeved shirts, pants and skirts made from tightly woven fabrics offer even greater protection. DONNING A HAT: SHIELDING YOUR FACE AND SCALP Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is an excellent way to protect your face, ears and neck from the sun’s rays. Look for hats with brims that extend at least three inches, providing ample shade for these vulnerable areas. SUNGLASSES: GUARDING YOUR EYES AND SURROUNDING SKIN UV protection for your eyes is crucial, as long-term exposure to UV rays can contribute to cataracts and other eye conditions. Look for sunglasses labeled with UV protection information and choose larger frames or wraparound styles to provide better coverage for your eyes and the delicate skin around them. SEEKING SHADE: REDUCING DIRECT SUN EXPOSURE One simple yet effective way to protect your skin from UV rays is to seek shade, especially during peak sun hours. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to plan your outdoor activities around these times. When shade is limited or not available, create your own shade with an umbrella, pop-up canopy or sunshade. PROTECTING CHILDREN Children’s skin is more sensitive and prone to damage from UV rays, making it even more crucial to protect their skin during the summer months. Dress them in sun-protective clothing and encourage them to wear a hat and sunglasses. Help them apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater, and reapply about every two hours or after they have been swimming or sweating. Limit their sun exposure and seek shade whenever possible. FAIR SKIN OR HISTORY OF SKIN CANCER Individuals with fair skin or a history of skin cancer should take extra precautions when spending time outdoors. We recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing sun-protective clothing and avoiding peak sun hours. Additionally, we encourage regular examinations of your skin and consultations with a dermatologist for routine skin checks. Remember, protecting your skin from UV rays is a year-round responsibility, not just during summer. Make sun protection a daily habit, even on cloudy or cooler days, and encourage others around you to do the same. If you find yourself or a loved one in need of medical care this season, reach out to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital to schedule an appointment!


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