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Sun protection at every age is important to prevent short and long term damaging effects of sunlight. Exposure to the sun can cause damage which is cumulative over lifetime adding to the risks of premature aging and skin cancer. Short exposures to the sun may result in painful red sunburns. Long term exposure can increase signs of aging such as wrinkles, age spots, dilated blood vessels and changes in the texture of the skin.
Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays: ultraviolet A (UVA) rays and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVB rays are the sun’s burning rays and are the primary cause of suntan and sunburn which is a visible injury appearing a few hours after sun exposure. UVA rays reach deeper into the skin and lead to premature skin aging. UVA rays pass through window glass leading to exposure even when you are indoors. Exposure to both forms of UV rays can lead to skin cancer.
5 S’s of Sun Safety
1. Slip on a shirt
2. Slop on SPF 30+ broad spectrum sun screen
3. Slap on a broad brimmed hat
4. Slide on quality sunglasses
5. Shade from the sun whenever possible
As we settle into summer, it is important to be sun safe. Each time we go out, we expose ourselves to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun and the damage adds up throughout our lives. Even if skin cancer seems like a distant danger, we should think about our appearance and early aging and choose to protect our skin.

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