Students should avoid overexposure to the sun



Column by Cami Stump

Summer is almost here and we’re all looking forward to spending more time outside in the sun.

If you walk down Colombia Avenue by sorority row you’ll see girls outside soaking up some sun. If you walk by the student center you’ll see tons of students passing their afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather.

While we are all ready to embrace this turn to warmer weather, many are looking for more this time of year. A lot of people look at the summer months as a way to relax, but also get a great tan.

Some may vacation at the beach, others will lounge by the pool and another group will simply lay out in their backyards. While everyone is searching for a nicely bronzed bod, most will be oblivious to the harmful rays from the sun that they are exposing their skin to.

It is irresponsible for all of us to ignore the dangers of the sun, put down the sunscreen and spend countless hours unprotected in the sun. We need to take it upon ourselves to be more educated about the dangers of sun exposure so we can enjoy the summer weather in the safest way possible.

In an effort to help educate UK’s students about the harmful effects of sun exposure, Alpha Delta Pi and the UK Dermatology Interest Group have organized an educational seminar about the often-ignored dangers of tanning. The event is Sun Savvy Summer, and it will be held Thursday, April 15 at 6 p.m. in White Hall Classroom Building, room 106.

The seminar will feature Dr. John D’Orzaio, who will not only explain the dangers associated with unprotected sun exposure but will also have technology on hand to show sun damage that audience members have accumulated thus far in their lives.

The seminar is not meant to scare people away from spending time in the sun, nor is it meant to pass judgment on those who avidly tan. Alpha Delta Pi and UK’s Dermatology Interest Group are simply trying to help students acknowledge that tanning has a less glamorous side that is often disregarded.

Sunspots and advanced aging are realities of tanning and excessive sun exposure. While this is the case, there is no reason to stay inside all summer and wear turtlenecks anytime you do venture outside, but there is good reason to wear sunscreen regularly and take breaks from the sun when spending a day outdoors. Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is important for protecting your skin and health in the future.

A golden glow now isn’t worth leathery skin and melanomas down the line, so being aware of the risks of tanning and protecting yourself against them is critical. Sun Savvy Summer is one way to get a good start to having a safer summer, so kudos to Alpha Delta Pi and UK’s Dermatology Interest Group for getting the ball rolling.