Breaking News
More () »

Tyler's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tyler, Texas | CBS19.tv

VERIFY: Can you get a sunburn on a cloudy day?

Ultra-violent (UV) rays, not the temperature, damage your skin and clouds do not block UV rays, reports the CDC.

TYLER, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from 2017.

East Texas hasn't seen too much sun in the past few weeks, but that doesn't mean you should skip the sunscreen when you head outdoors.

So, can you still get a sunburn on a cloudy day?

To find out, we checked with the experts at Mayo Clinic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The USDA reports approximately 70% of American adults do not protect themselves from the dangerous rays when outside, and according to Mayo Clinic, you can even get a sunburn on cloudy or cooler days.

Ultra-violent (UV) rays, not the temperature, damage your skin and clouds do not block UV rays, reports the CDC.

The USDA says up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate through clouds. Also, 85% of sunlight can reflect off of sand, concrete, water and snow. Sixty percent of daily UV “B” (UVB) reaches Earth's surface between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. It's best to try and avoid exposure between these hours.

According to Mayo Clinic, risk factors for sunburns include:

  • Having light skin, blue eyes, and red or blonde hair
  • Living or vacationing somewhere sunny, warm or at high altitude
  • Working outdoors
  • Swimming or spraying your skin with water, as wet skin tends to burn more than does dry skin
  • Mixing outdoor recreation and drinking alcohol
  • Regularly exposing unprotected skin to UV light from sunlight or artificial sources, such as tanning beds
  • Taking a drug that makes you more likely to burn (photosensitizing medications)

The CDC provides the following sun damage prevention tips:

  • Seek shade, especially from late morning through midafternoon.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs and a hat with a wide brim that shades your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Put on sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. The UV rays from them are as dangerous as the UV rays from the sun.

So, yes. You can get a sunburn even when it's cloudy outside.

Is there something you want verified? Text VERIFY to (903) 600-2600.