Friday, November 4, 2022

Preventing Sunburn In Winter.

I find it interesting that most people associate sunburn with summers only.  They think that when the temperature drops and the snow hits, they don't have to think about sunburn but they are wrong. People think that you can't get sunburned in the winter but you can. Although the UV index is usually lower in the winter, especially as you go further north, the sun is still powerful enough to cause damage to your skin, just like you can get sunburned on a cloudy day in the summer.  Remember, the UV rays are based on temperature as the rays come from the sun and the temperature is based on the earth's condition.

Unfortunately, many people mistake the redness in the winter.  They see the redness and decide it is actually windburn when it is really a sunburn. Another notion that many people subscribe to is that if they have a base tan, that will provide them protection from sunburn but in reality, a base tan only has an SPF of around 3.  In addition, many people get their base tan using a tanning bed which exposes your skin to higher rates of UV rays.

It is important to stay active in winter and if you are outside, you need to wear sunscreen, even in the middle of winter. When you go up in elevation, you expose yourself to more UV rays.  For every 1,000 feet you go up, your UV expose increases by 10 percent.  Furthermore, the snow reflects the sun and can double the amount of UV rays you are exposed to and this means you could be experiencing the same amount of UV rays as you do in the summer. The snow can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun's rays and you are exposed to this during skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating or ice fishing.

In addition, UV rays will go through glass so if you are sitting in a glass enclosed facility, you can still receive enough sun to burn.  Remember, every time you get sunburned, your skin is damaged and the damage could lead to melanoma so you want to do everything you can to protect yourself year round.

Some of the ways to protect yourself is to wear a daily moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 or a regular sunscreen of at least 30.  I, myself, wear a sunscreen designed for the face with an SPF of 50 and I wear it every day to protect my skin.  Wear clothing so all your skin is protected from the UV rays. Be sure to wear wrap around sunglasses or goggles that have 100 percent UV ray protection.  The reflected rays can be quite hard on your eyes in the winter. Stay out of the sun during the peak sun hours or use an umbrella or some sort of additional protection if you are out for long periods of time.  Don't forget to wear a hat with a large brim even in the middle of winter to keep you warm and to keep your scalp from becoming sunburned. . 

Don't forget to reapply the sunscreen every two hours or so just like you do in summer.  It is important to have continual protection. Plan to continue with the regiment all through the year regardless of the season because you can be sunburned at anytime.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

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