June 2nd, 2015
It seems fitting to talk about sun safety this time of the year. Many people enjoy spending time outside swimming, hiking, golfing, gardening or just playing in the yard. The sun, as gorgeous as it is, is also one of the most harmful things to which we are exposed. The sun emits a UV radiation that can be dangerous if exposed too long. This depends on the time of day, the time of year and how much protection is used. The sun is not the only source of harmful UV radiation. Man-made tanning beds are just one example of this. Everyone likes a good healthy glow-right? Well according to the American Cancer Society, most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to the UV rays in sunlight.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. each year than all other cancers combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades. There are three kinds of skin cancer- basal cell and squamous cell cancers, as well as melanoma. Melanoma is a more serious but less common type of skin cancer. Don’t forget using an artificial form of sunlight is also a known cause of cancer.
Now, the question is-how can skin cancer be prevented? There are many ways to protect your skin against the effects of harmful UV rays. Sunscreen is the number one choice among most people. The higher the UV protection, the better. Please note that just applying sunscreen one time throughout sun exposure is not enough. The bottle of sunscreen should say to reapply after a certain amount of time due to it wearing off with activity. Wearing hats, sunglasses and clothing also help to shield the harmful effects of the sun. Babies should be completely covered when exposed to the sun due to their delicate skin. Swimwear for babies even has UV protection built right in the fabric. I hope this article was helpful in bringing more attention to the most common type of cancer in the U.S. A healthy glow looks healthy, but is it?