Tech Devices Offer Solutions to Mitigate Sun Exposure Risks

We all know what the risks of unprotected sun exposure are, right? Well, maybe not. In addition to the fact that unprotected sun exposure causes premature aging, wrinkling, and painful burns, it also contributes to a whopping 3.5 million cases of skin cancer in the US each year. Despite these dangers, less than a third of people are reported to use sunscreen regularly, and those that do use it may not understand what type of protection they need. A recent survey published in JAMA Dermatology found that, out of 114 participants, only 39 of them looked for broad-spectrum protection (protection that guards against both UV-A rays, which are associated with skin aging and cancer, and UV-B rays, which are associated with sunburns and skin cancer) when shopping for sunscreen.

It may have been this not-so-sunny state of affairs that prompted tech companies to develop a variety of new technologies to help us sun-shield our skin. These wearable devices and apps are now on the market and are designed to measure sun exposure, to provide daily sun forecasts, and to advise users on when to apply sunscreen, among other things. Some of these newly available tools include:

  • Wearable devices that monitor your daily UV exposure.
  • Apps for your smartphone that calculate how much sun exposure you can safely get on a certain day and recommend specific sun protection like hats and sunscreen—all based on your location, physical characteristics (like skin tone and natural hair color), and what you are wearing.
  • Wristbands and stickers that measure sun exposure and change colors when you need to apply more sunscreen or get out of the sun.

Source: New York Times

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