Sunlight provides light, warmth and the production of Vitamin D in the body. However, overexposure to sunlight and UV radiation can cause diseases of the eye, immune system suppression, and skin cancers. Workers who spend a majority of their time outdoors are at a greater risk for developing adverse health effects from UV radiation.
- Nausea (feeling sick to stomach)
- Tough, leathery appearance
- Red, yellow, gray or brown spots
- Commonly occur on face, neck, ears, forearms and hands
- Small, white, wax-like bumps
- Red, scaly patches
- Darkened mole or irregular patches of brown color
Note: If you discover any of the above skin changes, consult your health care provider.
- Hives or raised areas
- Red blotchy areas
Note: Certain drugs, perfumes, and cosmetics also can cause sun sensitivity.
- Burns of the cornea
- Cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye)
- Possible macular degeneration (development of spots) that could lead to blindness
- Increased likelihood of developing infections
- Worsening of certain diseases (e.g. cold sores, chicken pox, lupus) with sun exposure.
Reduce exposure to the sun when it is most intense (10am-3pm).
Wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers ears, head and neck.
Wear loose-fitting clothing made of tightly woven fabric.
Apply a sun screen (SPF 15 or greater) at least 20 minutes before going outside.
Wear sunglasses that block 100 percent UVA and UVB radiation. Wrap-around styles give the most protection.
Apply lip balm with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater.
Take breaks in the shade.
- Snow, sand, water, and concrete reflect the sun's rays, intensifying exposure.
- Higher altitudes have less atmosphere to filter out UV rays.
- UV rays are present even on cloudy days.
- Some medications can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. Ask a pharmacist or your healthcare provider about the drugs you are taking.