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UV Protection

UV protection is a major concern today, as scientists and people in general are more aware of the dangers UV rays pose to humans. Ultraviolet or UV light is a form of electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength shorter than that of visible light. There are three types of UV radiation - UVA, UVB, and UVC, and of the three, UVC is the most dangerous, but is comparatively less of a threat to us as the atmosphere filters most UVC rays.

UV protection deals with measures taken to reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation on the human body. It is extremely important to take all the necessary measures to protect yourself, as UV radiation can damage the skin, the eyes, the hair, as well as the immune system. The following points provide some suggestions on protecting yourself:

UV Sun Protection

•    Sunscreen:

Sunscreen lotions are basically UV sun protection lotions that block UV rays from reaching the skin. Although sunscreen is not a perfect protection from UV light, you should apply adequate amounts of sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 30. If you are out in the sun for long periods of time, you should reapply the lotion after two hours.

•    UV protection clothing:

Actually covering the skin is more effective protection that using sunscreen. The fact that regular summer clothing provides very little UV ray protection is not widely known, but special sun protection clothing is a relatively new concept of UV ray protection that is slowly gaining popularity. UV protection clothing covers the maximum amount of skin area while at the same time being cool and comfortable to wear and is relatively inexpensive. The clothing is rated based on the UV protection it offers. The recommended rating is UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) 30 or higher. There is now a variety of sun protection clothing that includes UV protection swim wear, UV protection umbrellas, UV protection shirts and also UV protection hats.

•    UV protection glasses:

The eyes can also be damaged by UV rays, and hence sunglasses with UV protection are necessary to keep your eyes safe. UV protection glasses must be able to keep out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation, which means screening out 75 – 90 percent of visible light. Ideally one should use grey colored lenses for correct color recognition.

•    UV hair protection:

Both UVA and UVB B rays have the ability to damage hair right from the cuticle to the inner structures of the hair. Therefore it is important to use UV protection shampoos and conditioners or a UV protection hair spray when going out into the sun. The common UV rating for shampoos and conditioners is SPF 15 -20, and products with this level are most effective.

As far as possible you should avoid going out in the sun during the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm, as this is when UV radiation is at its highest. Staying indoors at this time is the best UV protection.