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UV Protection in Colorado: Essential Sun Safety Tips for Summer

Jun 26, 2024, 10:19 AM by Rose Abell
Feeling the heat? With 300 days of sunshine, sun protection tips are vital for Coloradans.

As Colorado residents gear up for summer outdoor activities, UV Awareness Month this July serves as a timely reminder about the importance of sun protection. The state's high altitude and abundant sunshine make sun safety a crucial consideration for locals and visitors alike.

Colorado sees over 300 days of sunshine annually, and UV radiation increases about 4% for every 1,000 feet of elevation. This means Denver residents are exposed to about 25% more UV radiation than those at sea level.

Suncare tips in Colorado

Dermatologists recommend a multi-layered approach to sun protection:

1. Seek shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest.

2. Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide-brimmed hats.

3. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, reapplying every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

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Sun safety clothing tips

For clothing, experts suggest looking for items with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF). UPF 50+ fabrics block 98% of UV rays. Dark or bright colors typically offer more protection than light colors. Tightly woven fabrics like denim provide better coverage than looser weaves.

Given Colorado's outdoor culture, sun protection is crucial during activities like hiking, cycling and skiing. Experts advise paying attention to often-missed areas like the tops of ears, back of the neck and the tops of feet. UV-blocking sunglasses are also essential to protect the eyes.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States, making it the most common form of cancer in the United States. By taking proactive measures to protect against UV radiation, Coloradans can significantly reduce their risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

For more information on UV safety and skin cancer prevention, Colorado residents can visit CU Medicine Dermatology - Aurora or CU Medicine Dermatology - Cherry Creek. Both locations offer comprehensive dermatological services and can provide personalized advice on sun protection strategies tailored to Colorado's unique environment.

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