Sun Safety Awareness and Skin Cancer Resources, Mendocino

Sun Safety Awareness and Skin Cancer Resources In Mendocino

When the weather is nice, it’s tempting to spend time out in the sun. Whether taking advantage of Mendocino’s hiking trails, working in the garden, taking sunny vacations, spending time outdoors with friends and family, or even just running errands—sun exposure is a part of our daily summer lives.

But when is sun exposure too much? How dangerous could a little sun really be?

July is UV Safety Month, and it’s a time to share information on sun safety.

UV-A and UV-B Risks Explained

During the summer, because the sun is at a more direct angle, there’s a higher amount of UV exposure. Both UV-A and U-VB rays negatively affect skin and health.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs,

The sun emits radiation known as UV-A and UV-B rays. Both types can damage your eyes and skin:

  • UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin

  • UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin

Effects of UVA and UVB exposure include eye damage, premature skin aging, skin cancers, and immune system suppression. It is important to note that skin damage from sun exposure can happen year-round.

How to Protect your Skin from Sun Damage

  1. Wear sunscreen. While authorities may disagree about the exact SPF number recommended, most dermatologists say an SPF of at least 30 is necessary to protect your skin. Also, it is important to read the label for the words, “broad spectrum” which protect against both UV-B and UV-A rays.

  2. Wear a wide brimmed hat. A baseball hat does not cover enough of the face and neck to be truly effective. The wider the brim of a sun hat, the better protection.

  3. Wear UPFclothing, if possible. UPF clothing (ultraviolet protection factor) minimizes the amount of sunscreen that needs to be used and can protect more skin surface area.

  4. Seek shade. Although UV rays can still bounce off surfaces (concrete, snow, windows) staying in the shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will protect your skin from the strongest rays.

Sun Safety Awareness and Skin Cancer Resources In Mendocino

Skin Cancer Help in Laytonville

At Long Valley Health Center our primary care doctors put a special emphasis on prevention. No one knows your own skin better than you do, so keep note of any changes to moles or blemishes on your skin as you do self checks. When visiting your LVHC primary care doctor, let them know if you are concerned about any skin changes.

Also note that regular skin exams are important for people who are at higher risk of melanoma.