Sun Smart When Working Outdoors
Why You Should Be Sun Smart When Working Outdoors
For the vast majority of people in the US, overexposure to sunlight is not an
issue. Many Americans even have an issue when it comes to Vitamin D deficiency.
However, for many people who work outdoors, or otherwise stay outside often,
they may be doing much more to their body than just tanning.
## Damage From The Sun
While sunlight is essential for the body and the creation of adequate amounts of
Vitamin D, even a small amount of sun exposure can increase your risk for skin
cancer. In the UK, about 8 in 10 cases of a skin cancer known as melanoma are
caused by overexposure to the sun.
There are two types of UV rays that are talked about when it comes to damaging
your skin: UVA and UVB. UVB is the type that causes sunburn, while UVA is the
type that penetrates deep into the skin, which damages DNA and ages it over
time. This is why many doctors recommend everyone do a skin check monthly, such
as looking for brown spots that are too large, or increases in size.
Skin cancer can develop when the DNA in your skin gets damaged through too much
sun exposure. This can be so potent that getting a sunburn even once every 2
years can triple your risk for skin cancer. People who do work outside, like
construction workers, farmers, and crossing guards, can be up to 10 times more
likely to get this cancer, which makes it a serious concern for outdoor workers.
The best practices when it comes to avoiding skin cancer, is to try to reduce UV
exposure as much as possible.
## What is the UV Index?
A great way to reduce UV exposure is by determining what the UV Index is. The UV
Index is a scale that was created by the World Health Organization in order to
determine the danger levels associated with UV radiation. While it can change
depending on many factors, such as time of day and even weather, this number can
go from 0 to 11 or even higher, the higher the number, the more risk you have of
higher UV exposure.
For this reason, it is good to have a UV tracker like
[UVIMate](https://uvimate.com/), which is a phone app that can tell you what the
UVI is like now and will be in the next 6 hours. It also can tell you specific
information based on skin type, SPF, and even remind you of when to reapply
sunscreen. This can help you on those long days where you work outside, and can
determine the best times to apply sunscreen or wear clothes like hats to help
protect you from the suns harmful rays.
Working outdoors can be highly beneficial, and can improve many aspects of your
health. However, that does not mean that you have to put yourself at risk of
getting cancer as a result.
Founder of UVIMate - Sun Safety Coach and UV Index Forecast app
Alex is a dedicated NodeJS/.NET technomad with 10 years of hands-on experience in digital media, e-government, telecommunications and print/mail production automatization areas. DevOps practitioner and energetic Knowledge Management evangelist.