An excessive exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of melanoma skin cancer as mentioned in the previous articles. Therefore, we should learn to protect ourselves conscientiously. The use of appropriate clothing, a natural tan, the use of sunscreens (also known as sun cream) and sunblocks, and a responsible and gradual exposure to the sun, if used wisely, can effectively protect our skin from burning, reducing the risk of getting melanoma or other skin disorders. Let’s see how:
Use of Appropriate Clothing
When the intensity of solar radiation is very high, it may not be sufficient applying sunscreen products on the skin but we have to use protective clothing, hats, glasses, etc.
The protection of a garment not only provides a barrier against ultraviolet rays, but often allows a better heat combating, thanks to the thin layer of air that acts as insulation between the skin and the clothing.
Nevertheless some factors influence the transmission of ultraviolet rays through the tissue: the moisture, the color of the clothes, the material of the clothes, etc.
A wet suit, for example, has a lesser effect than a dry one, even if it gives a pleasant feeling of relief and refreshment amplified by the wind.
Dark clothes are known to absorb UV rays more than light-colored ones. Light-colored clothes on the other hand, are more effective against infrared rays.
Cotton has a lower protective factor (10) than silk (160) and blue jeans (1500).
Nowadays, there are available in the market some clothes with a calculated protective factor, but it’s sufficient to choose tightly woven and light-colored ones to have a more effective protection.
The tan is stimulated by UVB radiation, it absorbs more than 70% of UV rays, but becomes less effective with each passing year. It can also have negative effects. In fact, when it’s intense, it eliminates the alarm signal represented by the sensation of burning and allows the individual to be exposed to the sun for longer periods. He will not burn, but after several years, the effects of the chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation will appear. Therefore, protection should also be performed in the presence of a natural tan.
Use of Sunscreens and Sunblocks
Sunscreen and sunblock products are the most commonly used remedy for not giving up the pleasure of a normal tan. However, no sun cream is able to provide the level of protection that can be achieved by covering with suitable clothing or avoiding sun exposure at certain hours of the day.
The first sunscreens were used to protect the skin only from UVB rays because in the past UVA rays were thought to be safe. The newer sun creams contain a mixture of filtering and shielding substances that protect from both UVB and UVA rays.
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