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Why Sunscreen Is So Important In Wyoming

Barcin, Getty Images
Barcin, Getty Images

If you’re going to be out in direct sunlight for long periods, like at Cheyenne Frontier Days soon, remember sunscreen. In Wyoming, we burn fast up here at any time of year, especially when the sun is in the northern hemisphere.
Ultra violent rays are five percent more intense per 1000 feet above sea level. At Cheyenne ’s 6000 feet, that’s 30 percent quicker to a sunburn than at sea level. Our ultra-violet rays can be ultra violent. It’s why snow skiers at altitudes around two miles high have at least 50 percent more intense sun, even in the winter.

The last summer that we got data on white Wyoming adults, a whole 50 percent got at least one sunburn. Doctors know it really is an actual burn of the skin.
In 2008, Sweetwater County had the highest rate of new melanoma in Wyoming, ranking among the highest 4 percent of counties nationally. Sadly, the death rate was 24 percent higher than the U.S. average. Sweetwater is now home to a wonderful organization called “Cowboys Against Cancer.” 

Click here for tips on what to do when sunburned.

If you forgot sunscreen, keep covered however you can. Around here, cowboy hats were not made for fashion only – and not just at the Daddy of ‘em all.

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