Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring Snow and Sunburn

With spring right around the corner, despite what seemed to be a nor’easter a week, I wanted to bring light to something we may not consider with these sunny days but colder temperatures: sunburn.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, exposure to UV rays can cause a number of health complications, such as problems with sight, and everything from age spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin to skin cancer, with about 5.4 million cases diagnosed per year.

With all of the snow that remains on the ground, keep in mind that 90% of UV rays from the sun can reflect off of the snow. Wear a lighter long sleeve shirt to protect from the UV rays if not wearing a jacket. If you find yourself outside for a long period of time, cover up or apply sun screen to exposed areas.

Sunglasses, ski goggles, face masks, and chapstick can all be used for protection. Protecting yourself from the UV rays will not only save you from the short term pain of a sunburn, but also reduce your chances for developing skin cancer or other health problems.

Photo of Skier at Whiteface, courtesy ORDA.

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Dan Sweet is a full time employee of Cornell Cooperative Extension as a Nutrition Educator. Dan began working for Cornell Cooperative Extension as an intern for Camp Akalaka in 2013, doing nutrition education and leading group activities. Growing up in Saranac Lake, New York, Dan has a passion for the outdoors. In his spare time, you can find him hiking, skiing, or playing various sports.


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