Sunscreen: Healthy Skin, Healthy You [Video]

Don't Forget Your Sunscreen!

This time of year particularly, we believe it’s important to remind our patients about the very real risks of too much exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

UV and Cancer

The American Academy of Dermatology tells us that: “On average, one American dies from melanoma [skin cancer] every hour. In 2015, it is estimated that 9,940 deaths will be attributed to melanoma — 6,640 men and 3,300 women.” And “the overall incidence of melanoma is rising at an alarming rate. If current rates of increase continue, one in 68 Americans will develop invasive melanoma during his or her lifetime, a 2,000 percent increase from 1930.”

In the past, men have been diagnosed with melanoma at higher rates than women. But women are catching up and may soon surpass them — researchers blame this rise on the increasing number of young women who use tanning beds.

Frequent exposure or occasional overexposure to UV rays is the key risk factor for melanoma. All skin-types can develop melanoma; but light skinned people have higher rates — redheads face the highest risk, followed by blondes. Family history of skin cancer is another key factor that increases your risk of developing melanoma.

Other Effects of Sun Overexposure

Not only can overexposure and tanning increase your risk of developing skin cancer, it also causes premature aging, wrinkles, freckles, and age spots.

A few ways to reduce your risk of overexposure are:

  1. Always wear sunscreen of at least SPF15 whenever outdoors and reapply every 2 hours or more if swimming or sweating
  2. Wear a large brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face
  3. 3. Seek out shade as much as possible
  4. Reduce sun exposure during peek hours of 10a-4p when UV rays are at their highest

Understandably, no one wants to spend the summer hiding their pale legs and arms, but there are ways to get a healthy glow without the dangers tanning. Self tanners are a great alternative to tanning and are kind to your skin without the risks and damages of sun exposure and tanning beds.

Even on overcast days, there is still a danger of UV rays. This great video shows what people look like in ultraviolet light and how sunscreen protects your skin.

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