Prevent sunburn: Always base your sun protection on the UV index

Prevent sunburn: Always base your sun protection on the UV index

Sun attracts many people outside
As soon as the first warm days are there, most people are drawn outside. After all the cloudy and cold months, you finally want to "soak up" the sun and feel the warm rays on your skin. But caution is advised here, because the sunshine increases the UV exposure again. This can even be particularly high in spring, because the ozone layer is often still unstable at this time of the year, warns the German Cancer Aid in a recent message.

Get used to the radiation slowly
Those who stay in the sun too often and for too long risk long-term serious damage to the skin. Because this ages faster due to the ultraviolet radiation, and damage to the genetic material of skin cells and skin cancer can occur, reports the German Cancer Aid. Especially in spring, the strength of the sun should not be underestimated, because due to the often thin ozone layer, ultraviolet radiation can currently be particularly strong. Accordingly, appropriate UV protection to prevent skin cancer should not be dispensed with these days. "Do not underestimate the intensity of the spring sun and slowly get used to it," Gerd Nettekoven, CEO of the German Cancer Aid, is quoted in the message.

Rays themselves are not noticeable
According to the non-profit organization, the ozone layer would normally ensure that the majority of the carcinogenic UV radiation does not reach us at all. But at the moment this protective layer, which surrounds the earth at a height of 15 to 30 kilometers, could be thinned out at times due to the climatic conditions in late winter and spring. This would cause low-ozone air from the polar region and the subtropics to flow to Central Europe and small ozone holes would be created through which more ultraviolet rays would reach Earth than usual. A process that initially goes unnoticed because “UV radiation in itself cannot be felt. We only notice their harmful effects when the skin cells are already damaged and the body reacts to them, ”explains Professor Dr. Eckhard Breitbart, dermatologist and chairman of the Dermatological Prevention Working Group (ADP). "This then creates an uncomfortable feeling up to burning pain", the expert continues.

Use the UV index for orientation
In order to be able to better assess the power of the sun at this time of year and not to take any risks, one should consult the UV index (UVI) on the advice of the German Cancer Aid and the ADP. This describes on a scale from 1 to 11+. the expected maximum daily value of sunburn effective UV radiation. The index is created by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection in cooperation with the Federal Environment Agency, the German Weather Service and other institutions and can be accessed online on a daily basis. Recommendations for sun protection are assigned to each value here. With a UV index of 0 to two, for example, no protective measures are required, but from a value of 11, these are “a must”. According to the Cancer Aid, medium to high UVI values ​​between 4 and 6 are expected for early May. In addition to slowly getting used to the skin through short stays outdoors, the experts also recommend that the sun should be avoided entirely at lunchtime. (No)

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