Sunprotection outdoor, much more than just a sunscreen lotion
Being outdoors exposed to UV radiation has been associated with many health benefits but also several risks, particularly related to skin cancer when exposure is too much.
Since ultraviolet radiation exposure has a cumulative effect, sun protection must be an everyday practice in order to achieve health benefits from sun exposure while limiting the hazard as much as possible.
In this regard, most people think about a sunscreen lotion as the ultimate strategy to fight against sun exposure risk, and even when these screens are very effective in protecting the skin against UV rays when that's the only defense, usually it's not enough.
Instead, sunscreens must be combined with many other sun protection strategies to avoid not only sunburns risk but also skin cancer, being the last a main concern regarding extensive sun exposure.
So, let's take a look at the main strategies recommended to minimize hazardous UV radiation exposure.
First of all, limit as much as possible exposed skin. It's easier said than doing it, especially during hot summer days when long sleeves and pants are not as comfortable as shorts and t-shirts, but certainly covering as much skin as possible is a good idea to minimize sun exposure.
To achieve this goal it's extremely important to wear a hat specially designed to protect not only your head but also your face and the back of your neck.
This area is particularly exposed and we are not aware of it until something happens, moreover, the back of the neck tends to be the less protected skin of the body when we are outdoors, and due to its localization high in the body and without anything providing a shadow, UV radiation reaching that portion of skin tends to be high.
So, the best choice in this case is to sacrifice comfort for safety however, modern respirable, light fabrics are dense enough to provide effective protection against UV rays while being less hot than old-fashioned fabrics.
But once again, same as with sunscreens, clothing alone is not enough. Even when covering the skin helps to limit exposure, UV-A and UV-B rays are still capable to reach your skin, perhaps in a lesser amount but they still get there, so combining clothing with sunscreens is a smart decision.
Some people think that sunscreen below clothes is a waste, but that's not true! In fact, the combined action of clothing plus the sunscreen provides enhanced protection.
In this regard, it's important to remember that applying sunscreen just once a day it's not enough!
Every product has its own directions for use but, in general, it's necessary to apply a new sunscreen layer at least every four hours, even more frequently in wet environments.
Considering that exposed skin is at higher risk, applying sun protection lotions more frequently on the face, hands, and any other exposed skin surface is more convenient than doing it all along the body.
Finally, there are some behavioral measures you may take to keep away from hazardous ultraviolet radiation.
In this regard, avoid exposure when radiation levels are more intense, that's between 11 am and 2 or 3 pm. If you must be outdoors during such timeframe, try to find shadow areas and avoid as many as possible plain, uncovered areas.
As you must have realized so far, sun and UV-A/UV-B protection is a complex matter involving several strategies, and failing only in one of the will lead to serious, negative, health consequences, so, take your time and protect yourself from the sun properly.