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UV Exposure and Protection

Why do some people get sunburn and others don’t?
This mostly has to do with skin type or pigmentation–pale, dark, or in between–and the type of exposure to the sun (time of day, season, altitude, latitude, snow, water, sand, how long exposed, and what protection from UV is used).

What are the best ways to prevent UV overexposure?
First, avoid intense sun exposure if possible and watch out for sand and water that reflect UV light back to you. Wear long sleeves and a wide brimmed hat and put on sunglasses and sunscreen.

Which sunglasses work best on the water?
You don’t need expensive sunglasses. Just make sure the ones you get are polarized (to cut the glare), and protect against both UVA and UVB radiation. 

What about sunscreens?
Read the labels on the sunscreens you buy; some have more or less ability to somewhat withstand swimming and sweating. Also, use a sunscreen with benzophenone that absorbs both UVB and UVA rays. Sunscreens have SPF (sun protection factor) ratings, too, which indicate how much protection they have relative to unprotected skin. Generally, the higher the number, the more protection is afforded. You need to apply the sunscreen fairly liberally for it to be effective. Also it’s best to put it on 30-60 minutes before going out in the sun, so it can penetrate and bind to the skin. Reapply liberally, especially after swimming or sweating. And don’t use sunscreen on infants under six months old.

Adapted information from Discover Boating.



Infographic: Sun Safety in Boating
Courtesy of SureShade®.