Like many cats, I enjoy a nice sunbath. However, since I have much less hair than most I am more susceptible to getting sunburns, especially on my ears and nose. Some people aren’t aware but cats can get skin cancer as well.
Fortunately, the windows of our house have a UV protective film applied. This blocks 99.9% of UV radiation while letting in 80% of visible light.
UV radiation from the sun contains both UVA and UVB rays. Both UVA and UVB cause skin cancer.UVA rays penetrate clouds and non-protected glass easily and also penetrate deeper into the skin. UVA causes tanning, which is actually the skin’s response to injury from radiation. UVA also contributes significantly to photo-aging: wrinkles, collagen breakdown, elastin breakdown as well as skin cancers. UVB radiation is more associated with sunburns and skin cancers than UVA, and does not penetrate glass much, but some UVB rays do get through non protected glass.
While there are benefits to sun exposure such as mood elevation, warmth and increased Vitamin D production it is important to take measures to limit UV exposure, especially in Arizona.
Use a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every 2 hours while outside. Limit time outside during 10AM to 4pm. Wear clothing with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) when outside for extended periods. This keeps skin looking more youthful with age and decreases the risk of skin cancer.
Don’t know what the UV rating is for the day? Type your zipcode on the EPA UV Index Widget below and be prepared!
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