Valley of the Sun

It’s no secret that the state of Arizona is synonymous with sunshine and outdoor activities which is one of our bonuses! Although the sun can be extremely beneficial to health, it can also be harmful. The sun gives off rays of light that are known as ultraviolet rays or UV rays. Exposure to the sun’s rays can be beneficial because they help to produce Vitamin D that is necessary for the body to function properly. However, too much sun has the ability to cause early aging, lowered immune system, eye injuries, and skin cancer.

The cells that make up the outer layer of the skin, or epidermis, contain a pigment called melanin. Melanin works to protect the skin against the harmful rays. The harder it’s working the darker the pigment becomes. Therefore, causing the skin to tan. Dependent on the strength and the amount of time spent in contact with the UV rays, the UV rays can reach the deeper layers. This can cause the skin cells to burn, die, become damaged, or develop cancer. Some signs of too much sun exposure include redness, heat, pain, itchiness, blisters, peeling, or dehydration.  

The most common form of skin cancer is non-melanoma, however, this is also very treatable. Melanoma skin cancer is not as common and is more severe. The number one preventative measure to decrease the risk of skin cancer is to wear the appropriate clothing, a well-rated sunscreen, and stay out of prolonged sun exposure whenever possible. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website for the safest and best-rated sunscreen report at www.ewg.org.

Valley Schools is here to help our members stay active, healthy and happy! Contact us today to see how we can help you start or boost your organization’s wellness programs.

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