Monday, August 18, 2014

Ultraviolet Video Reveals Sun's Damage To Skin

Skin viewed through both natural and ultraviolet light.  Still images acquired from Thomas Leveritt You Tube video.

Photographer Thomas Leveritt asked people to have their skin filmed through both ultraviolet and natural light cameras.   The results shocked many of the participants as seen in his video, How the sun sees you, which has more than 8 million views on YouTube.

RELATED ARTICLE: Consumer Reports: Target, Walmart Brands Best Sunscreen

The other effect of using an ultraviolet lens was that people with seemingly clear glasses that had UV protection appeared black.  When sunscreen was applied, it too appeared black rather than white or clear because the sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet light.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency offer the following tips about sun safety:

Whatever our skin color, we're all potentially susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation. Although we all need to take precautions to protect our skin, people who need to be especially careful in the sun are those who have
  • pale skin
  • blond, red, or light brown hair
  • been treated for skin cancer
  • a family member who's had skin cancer
If you take medicines, ask your health care professional about sun-care precautions; some medications may increase sun sensitivity.

Reduce Time in the Sun

It’s important to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest. Even on an overcast day, up to 80 percent of the sun's UV rays can get through the clouds. Stay in the


Dress with Care

Wear clothes that protect your body. If you plan on being outside on a sunny day, cover as much of your body as possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and pants. Sun-protective clothing is now available. However, FDA only regulates such products if the manufacturer intends to make a medical claim. Consider using an umbrella for shade.


Be Serious about Sunscreen

Check product labels to make sure you get
  • a "sun protection factor" (SPF) of 15 or more. SPF represents the degree to which a sunscreen can protect the skin from sunburn.
  • "broad spectrum" protection—sunscreen that protects against all types of skin damage caused by sunlight
  • water resistance—sunscreen that stays on your skin longer, even if it gets wet. Reapply water-resistant sunscreens as instructed on the label


Tips for Applying Sunscreen

  • Apply the recommended amount evenly to all uncovered skin, especially your lips, nose, ears, neck, hands, and feet.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun.
  • If you don't have much hair, apply sunscreen to the top of your head, or wear a hat.
  • Reapply at least every two hours.
  • Give babies and children extra care in the sun. Ask a health care professional before applying sunscreen to children under 6 months old.
  • Apply sunscreen to children older than 6 months every time they go out.


Protect the Eyes

Sunlight reflecting off snow, sand, or water further increases exposure to UV radiation and increases your risk of developing eye problems.
Tips for eye-related sun safety include:
  • When buying sunglasses, look for a label that specifically offers 99 to 100 percent UV protection.
  • Eyewear should be labeled "sunglasses." Otherwise, you can’t be sure they will offer enough protection.
  • Pricier sunglasses don’t ensure greater UV protection.
  • Ask an eye care professional to test your sunglasses if you don’t know their level of UV protection.
  • People who wear contact lenses that offer UV protection should still wear sunglasses.
  • Wraparound sunglasses offer the most protection.
  • Children should wear real sunglasses (not toy sunglasses!) that indicate the UV protection level.