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Protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation all year

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July 14th, 2014
senior couple putting on sunblock
senior couple putting on sunblock

The end of the summer is coming, but keep your sunscreen handy.

Ultraviolet radiation differs in intensity depending on the season, weather, latitude, altitude, and the presence of reflecting factors such as sand, snow, pavement, or water. Nevertheless, these harmful rays reach the Earth’s surface all year long.

The most damaging kind, UVA rays, have a very short wavelength and thus can cut straight through the ozone layer, clouds, and pollution. UVB rays have a longer wavelength, but nonetheless, can still move through the clouds and affect your skin. The third kind—UVC rays—do not reach the earth’s surface at all. 

UVA and UVB rays both cause changes in the body’s cells. They are responsible for skin cancer, premature skin aging, cataracts, and even a suppressed immune system. 

Sunscreen all year

“If you are going to be outside in any season, wear sunscreen on exposed parts of your body,” says Eugenio Machado, M.D., medical director at

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