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How Much Is Too Much Sun Exposure?

By July 21, 2020May 2nd, 2023Skin Care

How do you know if you’re getting too much sun exposure? That question can be challenging to answer because spending any amount of time outdoors can result in the absorption of harmful UV rays. You can use these benchmarks to improve your sun safety.

Check the UV Index

The UV Index is an international guideline that provides insight about safe sun exposure in your area each day. Review the numbers, which estimate the daily amount of UV exposure from the sun, and plan your outdoor activities around the predicted hazard level:

– Low (2 or Below): This rating indicates an ideal time to be outside and is associated with a limited risk of UV exposure. However, you should still wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on all exposed skin.

– Moderate (3 to 5): When your area has a moderate UV rating, limit your time outdoors during the peak sun hours (10 a.m. through 4 p.m.). When you do go outside, wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat, as well as sunscreen. The average UV index in the United States is 4.3; in Baton Rouge, the average is 5.9.

– High (6 or 7): With this rating, skin protection is essential to prevent sun damage. Wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Stay indoors during peak sun hours and limit outdoor activities to the early morning and early evening.

Although the UV Index also has higher numbers, most dermatologists recommend the same advice for any exposure above a 6 or 7. These steps are essential to protect yourself from skin cancer.

Look at Your Shadow

Try this easy trick from the Environmental Protection Agency. The shorter your shadow, the higher your UV exposure is when in the sun. When your shadow becomes shorter than you, head indoors or spend some time in the shade.

If you aren’t wearing sun protection, don’t spend more than 15 to 20 minutes in the sun. After that, the UV rays can damage your skin even when it’s cloudy outside. If you have concerns about the impact of sun damage on your complexion, visit The Dermatology Clinic. Our medical staff offers a comprehensive range of clinical and cosmetic dermatological services. To learn more about how we can help you, request an appointment online or call us at (225) 769-7546.