The Arizona Sun

Arizona Sun Effects

Arizona is well known for its sunny skies, yet UV rays from the sun can be detrimental to both skin and eyes. To stay protected against them, protect yourself with sunscreen, wide brim hats and sunglasses.

1. Sunburns

Researchers conducted a recent study using search data on Google to ascertain which states had the highest search activity for "sunburn treatments." Their results revealed that Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Georgia led with most search queries. This is likely due to spending so much time outdoors during summer months.

Sunburns can be embarrassing as well as painful. Additionally, they may make sleeping difficult and cause itching. To alleviate pain from sunburn, try taking ibuprofen, using 1% hydrocortisone cream from your local pharmacy, cold compresses may help soothe affected areas and if possible opt for mineral-based sunscreen which won't clog pores.

Avoid sunburns by wearing long-sleeved clothing and UV-blocking sunglasses when spending time outside, along with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses when hiking, fishing or any other outdoor activity. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water throughout your outdoor experience is critical. This is especially important if spending an extended time under direct sunlight.

Prevention is key when it comes to Arizona sun. Avoiding sunburn will keep your skin healthier in the future and lower the risk of liver spots, freckles and rosacea development. Treating severe sunburns can be painful and expensive, so following these tips ensure you can enjoy this summer without worry for its impact on your skin!

2. Skin Cancer

Sunburns, heat rashes and skin cancer can result from exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun's ultraviolet radiation, so sunscreen use is an everyday necessity in Arizona's harsh sun! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations for protecting yourself from the damaging rays using an SPF 30+ sunscreen regularly. Hats and sunglasses may also provide additional defense from their damaging rays.

Basal and squamous cell carcinoma are among the most frequently occurring non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC), typically found on areas that receive frequent sun exposure like noses, ears, hands and feet. Early detection and treatment is key with this form of skin cancer so it's wise to inspect any new moles or lesions regularly on your body for changes that might indicate potential trouble spots.

While those with darker skin have a lower risk of melanoma than other people, anyone can develop it. Just five sunburns increases your risk for this form of cancer dramatically; so it is crucial to protect your skin from sun damage and be aware of any changes to it.

Researchers from the University of Arizona are developing a tool to detect early signs of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Such detection could potentially save lives by detecting disease at its earliest stage and sparing patients unnecessary biopsies.

3. Premature Aging

The Arizona sun can be harsh on skin. The dry climate and air conditioning can deplete its natural oils that keep skin healthy and hydrated, leaving it dry, rough, flaky or itchy with wrinkles and fine lines forming prematurely. To protect yourself against premature aging and avoid wrinkles and fine lines from prematurely appearing on your body, try not getting too much sun exposure and use broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen daily before going outdoors. Remember to reapply as needed.

4. Eye Damage

Many seek refuge from the harmful sun rays with clothing and sunscreen, but it's equally essential that your eyes be protected as well.

Long-term exposure to sunlight can result in eye damage such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and benign conjunctival growths. Eyelids are highly vulnerable to UVB rays from the sun which can be very painful. Sunburn of eyelids may lead to watery eyes with gritty foreign-body sensation and swollen blood vessels around eyes. UVB rays also penetrate lens and cornea which increases your risk for macular degeneration. UVA rays can cause dry eye syndrome, leading to blurred vision and speeding up cataract development. They may also damage retinas, diminishing contrast perception.

To protect both eyes and skin from UV rays, seek shade whenever possible while also wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Sun rays can reflect off surfaces, so we get exposure even when we don't think we are.

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