Sun Exposure Sun Exposure
A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible form of radiation. They can penetrate your skin and damage your skin cells. Sunburns are a sign of skin damage. Suntans aren’t healthy, either. They appear after the sun’s rays have already killed some cells and damaged others. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or at any temperature. They can also cause eye problems, wrinkles, skin spots, and skin cancer.
To protect yourself
Stay out of the sun when it is strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher Wear protective clothing Wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds
Check your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color or feel of birthmarks, moles and spots. Such changes are a sign of skin cancer.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention