Most of us are used to applying sunscreen on sunny days. This goes without saying, whether your at the beach, surfing, bike ride or any one of a hundred different outdoor activities our great city has to offer. There's not too many cloudy days here, however we have a couple of months leading up to summer that can get us in trouble. May gray and June gloom are often foggy and cloudy months on the coast mostly due to the cooler ocean temps and the heat of the nearby desert regions colliding. These are the cloudy days that sneak up on us humans and lull us into thinking we are safe from the sun's UV rays.
There was a particular day during May gray that I was lulled into this UV trap. An annual local surf contest was being held at my favorite beach. More of a feel good contest that your typical competition event. Events like this start pretty early around 6:00 am and wrap up in mid to late afternoon. This was not my first contest, I had been literally to dozens of such events. The weather for this event was not unique in that it was foggy and on the cooler side temperature wise for a May morning. In fact at that time it looked like it could and would be another May gray day. Foggy morning turns into overcast skies by midday and holds there until the fog and clouds come back in late afternoon.
I got there early helped do some event set-up, then went back home for about an hour before heading down for the rest of the event. The cooler temps and cloudy conditions is what led me astray from my sunny day, apply sunscreen always and often credo. I did not put sunscreen on in time and by the time I did the damage was done. It was one of those sunburns I'll unfortunately always remember.
Here are some sun facts provided by the Skin Cancer Foundation, @skincancer.org about those cloudy days and UV rays.
* UV Rays are independent from temperature. You can get just as much sun damage from a cold day as a warm one. "It was cold"
* Clouds filter out sunlight but not UV rays. The bad UV rays that cause aging and cancer still get through. "Bad ones got through"
* Clouds block as little as 20% of UV rays, so even on a cloudy day your getting 80% of the sun's harmful rays. "got all 80%"
Needless to say that has never happened since. That May gray day had a lasting effect on me. Always put on your sunscreen, even on cloudy days!
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November 1, 2018 by HeadhunterDoug.