Here Comes the Sun
Everyone waits for sunny days. However, the next time you think about going out in the sun unprotected, be aware that the sun produces three types of harmful ultraviolet rays:
Ultraviolet A — gradually destroys skin elasticity, causing premature aging and contributing to skin cancer.
Ultraviolet B — causes the skin to burn and is believed to be the primary source of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet C — is most deadly. The ozone layer absorbs Ultraviolet C,; however, the ozone layer is thinning and we may be exposed to more Ultraviolet C rays in the future. This may increase skin cancer.
So how do we protect ourselves?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following precautions to reduce your chances of developing skin cancer:
Minimize sun exposure, especially during the peak sun hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense.
Apply a sunscreen (with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15) liberally and frequently, and reapply every two hours when working, playing, or exercising outdoors–even on cloudy days.
Wear appropriate clothing during prolonged periods in the sun, including a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and pants.
Beware of reflective surfaces. Sand, snow, concrete, and water can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun’s damaging rays.
Avoid tanning salons and sun lamps since the ultraviolet rays emitted by these artificial sources are similar to those in sunlight and can cause sunburn, premature aging, and increased risk of cancer.
Protect children by keeping them out of the sun or minimizing sun exposure and applying sunscreens beginning at six months of age. One severe childhood or adolescent sunburn doubles the risk of developing skin cancer.
Who needs protection?
Everyone! It is true that skin tone and pigmentation play a part in skin cancer. People who are light-haired, fair-skinned, and blue-eyed are more likely to burn and they have a greater risk for skin cancer. However, even dark skin can burn and develop skin cancer.
If you are taking medication be aware that certain medications interact with sunlight. Consult your physician about sun sensitivity and medication. Use a sunscreen.
Signs and Symptoms
Remember, early detection is critical. Any change in skin growths or the appearance of a new growth is the best way to find early skin cancer. Examine your and your children’s skin regularly for any changes in moles, freckles, or skin discoloration.
Any suspicious lesion or spot should be evaluated by a physician. Watch for any change on the skin, especially a change in the size or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented growth or spot.
Prevention is the best medicine
Remember to cover up. Use sunscreen and protective clothing.
Healthy Living Article List
|For Women||For Seniors||Fighting Cancer||Your Heart||Emergency 101|
|Work Smart||Bones, Muscles and Joints||Nutrition News||Advice From Our Docs|