Skin cancer is most common type of cancer registered in the US, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, according to the CDC’s data, the incidence of melanoma, an extremely dangerous form of skin cancer, has become more than twice as high as it used to be back in the early 1980’s.
What the majority of people do not realize is that at this point it has become an actual risk to expose your skin to the sun without any kind of protective measures. With every year that passes, the UV rays emitted by the sun become stronger and stronger and therefore, all the more dangerous.
While this does not mean that exposing your uncovered skin will definitely lead to skin cancer in a matter of minutes or days, prolonged exposure to the sun does affect the odds of getting sick. And in order to minimize these odds, there are some rather simple measures that people can use on a daily basis.
Firstly, the sun needs to be avoided as much as possible during the hours when it has its biggest potency. Therefore, if you can keep away from the sun during those hot crispy noon hours, you should definitely do so in order to stay safe. A place in the shade at the local cafe is always a better idea at noon than that sun-filed table that might initially seem like a good idea.
However, it is understandable that you can’t always avoid the sun at noon, because of a wide variety of reasons that are stronger than your personal intentions. But what you can do is protect yourself during that period of exposure.
You can do so by covering your some parts of your body and by applying the right type of sunscreen in the right way on the exposed parts. What the expression “summer clothing” should refer to is actually not an endless collection of shorts, hot-pants, mini-skirts, tiny tops and flip-flops, but clothing that is made from a thin sheer fabric, that allows your skin to breathe, but that offers a protective layer between the rays of the sun an the skin surface.
Clothes like long dresses, long sleeved blouses, linen pants and shirts are a better option, safety-wise, than those that show a lot of skin. Also, shoes are extremely important as well, since the feet and especially the toes are always disregarded when it comes to protection. Cotton footwear is a safer option than sandals or flip-flops.
But if you really must wear shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals, then don’t forget about sunscreen! Doctors advise that you use products with a minimum of SPF 30, and that you should get stronger ones for your face. Don’t forget that all of your body needs to be protected, and that includes your ears, your fingers, your toes and the back of your neck.
These are the usual suspects when it comes to poorly protected areas. So before you go outside in your new shorts and flip-flops think about your body, literally from head tot toe and apply sunscreen before exposing yourself to the midday sun.
Then, you have to be aware that sunscreen, regardless of its SPF has limits. The vast majority of them are only active for two hours, after which you have to reapply the products. Furthermore, if you go into water, in a pool or at the seaside, when you come back you need to reapply sunscreen, because the water washes it away.
These are the basic rules that actually do make a change in the effects that the sun might have on your skin. As filmmaker Baz Luhrmann said in his famous “Everybody is free to wear sunscreen” inspirational video, ” If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it”.
So take the time to do things right this summer by following these simple guidelines of your own protection and you will be on your way for much safer fun in the sun.
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