Contact with the environment and participation in outdoor activities are encouraged for achieving a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, they lead to greater exposure to solar radiation, resulting in skin diseases. Thus, photoprotective measures are indicated to prevent the deleterious effects of the sun on all age groups and skin types. The implementation of strategies such as choosing the most appropriate times, places, clothes, and accessories during occupational, sports, and recreational outdoor exposure, complemented by the use of sunscreens, can minimize the risks of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The UV index should be used as a tool to improve awareness of the attitudes and behaviors regarding exposure and sun protection. This chapter discusses preventive actions to avoid skin damage caused by sun exposure during interactions with the environment.
Environment Radiation protection Solar radiation Sunscreen agents Health promotion
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Malignant skin neoplasm
a malignant epithelial neoplasm. The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
A malignant melanocytic neoplasm that can occur on any part of the body. It has a rapid growth rate and high metastasis potential, and may be fatal.
The superimposition of chronic sun damage on the intrinsic skin-aging process.
Skin changes resulting from UV light exposure.
Measures used to avoid or interfere with solar radiation, reducing its deleterious effects.
Characterization of the skin according to its color and how it reacts to sun exposure. In brief it has been classified by Fitzpatrick into: (a) fair skin that never tans and is highly susceptible to sunburn (phototypes I and II); (b) white to brown skin with intermediate pigmentation (phototypes III and IV); (c) dark skin with accentuated pigmentation (phototypes V and VI).
The main acute skin reaction to excessive sunlight exposure. It can evolve into erythema, edema, blistering, peeling, and skin pigmentation. The face, neck, and trunk are more sensitive to sunburn than the limbs. The development of erythema is influenced by factors such as duration of exposure, phototype, age, diet, health characteristics, and atmospheric conditions (wind, heat, humidity, clouds).
Sunscreens (or sun filters)
Substances applied to the skin surface in different presentations, which contain in their formulation ingredients capable of absorbing, reflecting, or scattering UV radiation.
Ultraviolet index (UV index)
A scale for measuring the amount of UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface and posing a health danger to all humans, not only individuals with certain skin phototypes. The higher the UV index, the greater the potential for damage to the skin. Its aim is to help people prevent excessive sun exposure at their current geographic position.
Part of the Sun’s light that reaches the earth and the human skin, having both positive and negative health effects.
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