Dangers of UV rays, heat and one new sunscreen recommendation

Sunscreen (Consumer Reports)

As temperatures stay high and hot, we know the danger of the sun can include dehydration and burns.

But does the UV index become any more dangerous while the weather is hot?

The short answer is no. No matter the temperature, UV rays are equally dangerous.

However, the heat dome complicates this issue. That dome of pressure that’s keeping us in excessive heat has also been keeping the cloud coverage away. Without anyplace to take cover, you are more exposed and therefore at risk of dangerous exposure to UV rays.

“Excess sun exposure can lead to skin cancers of which melanoma is one,” said Dr. Andrew Pecora, oncologist with Hackensack University Medical Center.

Here’s the most important thing you need to know about skin cancer: Statistics show fair-skinned people are more likely to develop skin cancer. While darker-skinned people have a lower risk of getting skin cancer, by the time most African Americans get a diagnosis, it has already spread to other parts of their body. Meaning, they tend to die from the disease more than people of other skin tones.

“We see melanoma more commonly in fair-skinned people who don’t have a lot of pigment to protect themselves from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun,” Dr. Pecora said.

Recently, the American Academy of Dermatology released recommendations that include telling people with darker complexions to use tinted mineral sunscreen with an SPF of 30. They say the tint from the sunscreen helps to block out more light.

Other things that can help include wearing a hat and UV protection clothing.