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July is UV Safety Month, which makes this a good time to learn about avoiding the harmful effects of ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from sunlight.
Exercising and enjoying time outdoors are important for good health. This time of year means fun in the sun for many people. Knowing how to protect your skin will allow you to do so safely.
A sunburn usually appears within a few hours after too much exposure to UV light from sunshine or artificial sources, such as sunlamps. Any exposed part of your body, including your earlobes, scalp and lips, can burn. Even covered areas can burn if, for example, your clothing has a loose weave that allows UV light through. Your eyes, which are extremely sensitive to the sun's UV light, also can burn.
Sunburn signs and symptoms usually appear within a few hours after sun exposure. But it may take a day or more to know how severe the sunburn is. If the damage is severe, medical attention may be required.
Intense, repeated UV light exposure that results in sunburn increases the risk of other skin damage, such as wrinkles and age spots. It also raises the risk of skin cancers such as melanoma. This slideshow includes images of several conditions caused by sun damage.
Connect with others talking about sun safety in the Skin Health support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an online patient community moderated by Mayo Clinic.
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