Sun exposure: 5 preconceived ideas about UV rays and indices and our advice to protect your skin

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Did you know ? Air temperature has almost no effect on the strength of UV radiation. Thus, without even realizing it, our skin can be burned after bad exposure to the sun. But what do we know about these UV rays? What does the UV index correspond to? Everything you need to know to avoid solar risks with the advice of Weather & Radar, an application developed by the German meteorological company WetterOnline, which since 1996 has been providing reliable and accurate forecasts all over the world, including UV indices.

1. If I don’t feel any warmth on my skin, I don’t risk anything

It’s wrong. Sunlight includes visible, infrared and ultraviolet radiation. This heat, provided by the sun, comes from infrared radiation. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is invisible, and cannot be felt on the skin. In principle, any exposure to UV rays damages the skin although the pain from the burn is not felt until after a certain period of time. The exposure period will be important on the severity of the burn, and the skin will thus take more or less time to regenerate. The skin may peel.
Typically, after a bike ride, or an afternoon of gardening, we can distinguish perfectly the demarcation between our covered and protected skin, and that exposed thanks to the trace of the clothes we wore, and this although we do not felt nothing all day long. So beware of Sun burn.

2. In the water, my skin is protected

It’s wrong. The water refreshes us pleasantly during hot weather, but it offers minimal protection against UV rays. On the contrary, water reflects 10 to 30% of UV radiation, as is also the case of sand (5 to 25% of reflected UV), grass (5% of reflected UV), and especially of snow (40 to 90% of reflected UV).

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3. My skin is safe on a cloudy day

It’s wrong. Clouds partially reduce UV radiation, but more than 80% of rays can still pass through clouds and have the same effect on our skin as during an open sky.

4. UV radiation is just as dangerous in winter as it is in summer.

It is true. The amount of UV rays from the sun reaching the surface of the Earth depends on many factors: the time of day, the season, the latitude, the altitude, the reflection of the surface, the clouds, or even the pollution of the air. Although the intensity of UV radiation is highest around 2 p.m. in summer in most European countries, it is not excluded that we burn our skin during a ski trip in February! This is linked to the high altitude of ski resorts, but also to UV radiation which intensifies by reverberation on the snow. What is more, our skin being insufficiently exposed to a high dose of UV radiation during this winter season, the risk of burns is increased, and all the more rapid.

5. The UV index is an essential element to integrate into a good weather forecast

It is true. The UV index defines the amount of ultraviolet radiation expected for a specific day and location, and the risk this poses to health. The measurement scale is available from 1 to 11+. The higher the value, the greater the risk of skin burns.

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UV index from 1 to 2: low. No specific skin protection is required.
UV index from 3 to 5: moderate. It is advisable to protect yourself with a head covering such as a cap or hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Each type of skin requires appropriate protection.
UV index from 6 to 7: high. Reduce sun exposure between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The rest of the day, it is essential to protect yourself with all the protective equipment mentioned above (including a sunscreen index +30 to +50), and to favor shaded areas.
UV index from 8 to 10: very high. It is recommended not to expose yourself to the sun, especially in the afternoon between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. It is essential to use protective equipment (including a screen or sun care +50) otherwise the skin will be damaged and burned.
UV index 11+: extreme. Avoid exposure to the sun. If unavoidable, protect your body, and apply a very high protection sunscreen (index +50).
On the Weather & Radar application, the UV index is available in the form of the maximum value of UV radiation for one day, up to 14 days.

In anticipation of hot weather Coming up, it is essential to have a good application that will provide you with all the information you need to enjoy sunny days in complete safety.

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thanks to Meteo & Radar for his details on UV rays and indices and his advice on avoiding solar risks.

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