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Protect yourself this summer from harmful rays from the sun.
In a few weeks, it will be summer a favorite time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities. It's a good idea to to take precautions to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is emitted from the sun and is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation is not only prominent on warm, sunny days but also on the cold, overcast days of winter. Wearing sunscreen is a good place to start.
Sunscreens are given a sun protection factor (SPF) number that measures their effect against UV radiation. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Here are more precautions you can take to protect your skin:
- Limit your time outdoors to the early morning or late afternoon when the UV radiation levels are not as high. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear sunglasses with UV radiation absorption to protect your eyes.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your neck, ears, eyes and scalp.
- Stay away from tanning lamps and beds. They emit UV radiation, putting users at risk for skin cancer.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible. If there is no natural shade, make your own with an umbrella or canopy.
Additional health and wellness information
If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about sun safety and more.
To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Health & Wellness" tab and type "sun safety" in the search field. For more information on your Highmark member website, read How to Register on Your Highmark Member Website.