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Ultraviolet Index: How to Avoid the Burn

October 7, 2021

Avoid Sun Damage with this Helpful Tool!

If you’ve been with us longer than…a week, you have definitely heard us espousing the importance of sun protection, application and re-application of sunscreen, wearing a wide brimmed hat and the dangers that prolonged exposure to the sun pose.

In 1994, the National Weather Service and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) created the Ultraviolent Index.  This was done because for the previous 2 decades, weather, health and environmental studies had shown ultraviolet radiation was gradually increasing since the early 1970’s. These studies showed that consistent and prolonged exposure to UV radiation leads to a number of grave issues for humans, including melanoma, cataracts and other illnesses. The UV index is a quantifiable way for people to understand how bad the radiation is at any given point in the day.

Now, thanks largely in part to technological advancements, we’re able to check the UV index at any second of the day, pinpointed to where we are physically located on the planet.  Isn’t that incredible?

We’re sure there are many apps out there that provide this amazing service, but the one we’ve been using is called UVIMATE and is available on the Apple App Store for free. Nope – they did not sponsor this post or ask us to post it…. we just came across this amazing tool that most likely every one of our clients have, literally, in their back pocket.

What it does:

Open up the app and check the UV index. It will tell you if it is low, medium or high and will give you the exact UV index number. For example, as we write this, the UV Index number is 4.3, which is moderate, meaning that it is probably not a great time to spend a ton of time outside for risk of causing sun damage to the skin. The free version will also give estimates up to 2 hours in the future. (If you pay, it unlocks more future hours!)

In addition to all of this, it will tell you what level of SPF is recommended at that hour of the day for your specific skin color, how many minutes of sun exposure for your skin to burn, how much vitamin D you are getting and it also gives you the ability to turn on and off clouds (if it is cloudy in your area) to see how the UV Index is modified by cloud cover. It also tells you what the ozone level is  – the higher the amount of ozone, the fewer UV rays  reach the earth’s surface. It also tells you what your MAX UV index should be before you just don’t go outside at risk of getting melanoma.

All in all, it is super helpful AND FREE.  So if after all our preaching about sun protection isn’t enough, check out this app or something similar so you can actually quantifiably know how much damage the sun is doing to your skin at any given second of the day. And then go and re-apply your sunscreen!

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