Sioux Center, Iowa — July is Ultraviolet Safety Month. Faith Schiltz – a nurse practitioner for Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center, who previously worked in dermatology – hopes to debunk many misconceptions and encourage better habits for healthier skin and to help prevent skin cancer.
Schiltz says the sun produces two kinds of ultraviolet rays that we should be concerned about. UVB rays cause sunburns. They can be deflected somewhat by heavy cloud cover, so people may not get a sunburn on really cloudy days; whereas, on sunny days, they get a sunburn.
However, a lot of people don’t know about UVA rays. She says these rays slice right through cloud cover and reach the earth. UVA rays penetrate deeper and can, over a period of time and/or repeated exposure, cause cell damage and they are what over time can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, sagging skin, and brown age spots.
She says that is why it is so important to wear sunscreen every day, whether it’s cloudy or not, even if you are only going to be outside for 10 minutes.
According to Schlitz, she recommends starting your day by applying a daily moisturizer that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 in it to any exposed skin surfaces, like the face, ears, neck, upper chest, arms and hands. And protect your eyes by always wearing sunglasses with UV protection lenses when you are outside.