Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible form of radiation. They can pass through your skin and damage your skin cells. Sunburns are a sign of skin damage. Suntans aren't healthy, either. They appear after the sun's rays have already killed some cells and damaged others. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or at any temperature. They can also cause eye problems, wrinkles, skin spots, and skin cancer.
To protect yourself :
- Stay out of the sun when it is strongest (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100% UV ray protection
- Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds
Check your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, and spots. Such changes are a sign of skin cancer.
Food and Drug Administration
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Best Sunscreen: Understand Sunscreen Options (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Protecting Yourself from Sun Exposure (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Sun Safety (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun (Food and Drug Administration)
- Sunburn (VisualDX)
Health Check Tools
- Is Misinformation Increasing Your Risk of Skin Cancer (American Academy of Dermatology)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Methoxy-Monobenzoylmethane Protects Human Skin against UV-Induced Damage by Conversion to Avobenzone...
- Article: Attitudes and Behaviors That Impact Skin Cancer Risk among Men.
- Article: Reactivity to UV Radiation Exposure Monitoring Using Personal Exposure Devices for...
- Sun Exposure -- see more articles
- Health Effects of Too Much Sun (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)