Think you know how to protect yourself and your family from the sun’s damaging rays? Think again. Skin cancer (read more about skin cancer) is the most common type of cancer, probably making up more than half of all diagnosed cases of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The good news is that about 90 percent of all skin cancers could be prevented by properly protecting yourself. Get your facts straight so youâ€” and your familyâ€” can safely enjoy the great outdoors all year long.
4 big mistakes with big consequences:
Relying on sunscreen (or sunblock, or suntan lotion) for protection: Think you recognize a way to shield yourself and your family from the sun’s damaging rays? Think again. Skin cancer (read a lot of concerning skin cancer) is that the most typical variety of cancer, most likely creating up over 1/2 all diagnosed cases of cancer, per the American Cancer Society (ACS).
The good news is that about 90 percent of all skin cancers could be prevented by properly protecting yourself. Get your facts straight thus youâ€” and your familyâ€” can safely get pleasure from the nice outdoors all year long.
Using the wrong sunscreen: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are six main skin types, from very fair to black, and each has differing risks of enduring sun damage that can cause cancer.
Different skin sorts want sunscreens with variable SPF (sunburn protection factor) ratings. The yank academy of medicine advises, in general, choosing a sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Very fair peopleâ€” who burn simply and infrequently suffer dangerous sunburnsâ€” should select higher SPF numbers like thirty or forty-five. That doesn’t mean, as some people think, that they can use SPF 45 and stay in the sun 45 times longer than without sunscreen coverage. It’s calculable that SPF forty-five provides solely three to four p.c a lot of protection than a SPF fifteen.
According to Dr. Taylor, the founding father of brownskin.net, a web medical specialty resource for ladies of Asian, African, Latin, Native yank, Pacific, and other native descents, skin pigment, or melanin, in the “average” African American gives protection equivalent to SPF 13, but that brown- and black-skinned people should still use sunscreen with as least SPF 15. Think of it this way: though it isn’t precisely additive, (SPF) thirteen and fifteen equals twenty-eight, or on the point of (SPF) thirty.
Using too little sunscreen:
If you are lucky, you would possibly realize 8-ounce bottles of ointment, however several of the product oversubscribed nowadays contain solely four ounces or less. For adequate coverage, an associate degree “average” -a sized adult must use one ounce of ointment (about the number that fills your palm or a trial glass) anytime they apply it. Larger people will need more. Sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours. If you are swimming or enjoying a sweating sport, you would like to use it like a shot when drying off.
When you do the mathematics, you may quickly see that if the ointment is applied properly, one 8-ounce bottle shared by a number of relations or friends will not last past mealtime, if. The Yankee Cancer Society (ACS) stresses the importance of applying ointment fifteen to twenty minutes before going outside to let your skin absorb it. The ACS additionally recommends victimization ointment even on cloudy days. Also, use lip balm containing sunscreen.
Relying on only SPF numbers: Do you purchase cream primarily based solely on the SPF range listed on the bottle? Next time you’re shopping, you may want to take a closer look at the label. SPF solely measures UVB (ultraviolet-B) radiation protection, not UVA (ultraviolet-A) protection. Both sorts of ultraviolet|ultraviolet illumination|UV|actinic radiation|actinic ray} light cause skin harm and cancer therefore it is vital that sunscreens defend from UVA also as UVB. Make sure the merchandise specifies protection from each or says “broad-spectrum” on the label.
5 other sunscreen booby traps to know about:
- Despite advertising claims, no sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” according to the FDA. “Water-resistant” sunscreens must be reapplied after 40 minutes of sweaty activity or swimming.
- As crazy as it sounds, certain sunscreen ingredients break down in sunlight! Â Some ingredients also break down over time, the FDA says, and that deterioration may be speeded by sun exposure. So throw away last year’s bottles and keep your sunscreen in a shaded spot when outdoors. The Environmental Working Group, a public health advocacy organization, found that 54 percent of sunscreens contain ingredients that become unstable when exposed to light and might not offer the advertised protection. The group lists what it deems the “best” sunscreens here.
- Don’t look for “sunblock.” The FDA states that no product completely blocks UV rays. “Sunscreen” is a more accurate term.
- Watch out for human error and don’t be frugal with sun protection. “Most sunscreen users still get burned because they do not apply enough sunscreen, to begin with,” Dr. Taylor says. Slather sunscreen on thickly, covering all exposed skin. Pay attention to the areas that usually get missed: ears, around the eyes, neck (all the way around!), hands, feet, and toes.
- Use a sunscreen or wear long-sleeved clothing when driving, since side-window glass can let in UVA rays as can some windows in buildings. And remember that water, sand, concrete, and snow all increase the reflection of sunlight, so put on more sunscreen and shorten your exposure time.