Keeping Safe In The Sun
Gerber Memorial physician: UV Safety Month is a reminder to protect your skin in the sun
FREMONT, Mich. – July is national UV Safety Month and with more than 20 days of sunshine expected this month, protecting skin and eyes from the sun is critical to health and safety, said Paul Gillard, MD, of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Family Medicine – Fremont.
“Summer is a great time to be outdoors and spend time with our family, yet the sun is basically radiation and that’s why we need to be mindful when we’re outside,” Gillard said. “Spending two minutes in the sun is one thing, but when you...
...spend time in the sun over the course of 20 years, voila, it will change cells. We need to be aware when we’re outside – especially kids because they’re in the sun all the time. Some key things to avoid are tanning, tanning, tanning, and your best friends when out in the sun are fluids, fluids, fluids.”
Gillard shared three simple reminders for people, based on recommendations from the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Three important don’ts:
Gillard said our skin is the largest organ in our bodies and the first line of defense against pathogens and diseases. Nationally, skin cancer affects1 million people and 68,000 of these are melanoma cases. Overexposure to the sun can also harm our eyes by causing cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium, a non-cancer that can obstruct vision.
Gillard, who has practiced in Fremont for five years, often sees blisters, burns and infections as a result of overexposure to the sun. He also sees melanomas and recommends patients ask for a skin check during their annual physical exams.
If exposed to too much sun, Gillard offers these tips: