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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Warm Up to Safe Skin

Apr 07, 2011 06:54PM

We need to wake up and smell the SPF: Skin cancer is the most pervasive cancer in the United States. Every year, more than 1,000,000 cases are diagnosed, and that number exceeds all other cancers combined. Amongst these cases, statistics bear out that nearly 100,000 are diagnosed as melanoma, the deadliest form skin cancer, and for which there is no cure. So what can you do to protect your skin?

Avoid prolonged sun exposure between 10am and 4pm. This is when the sun's rays are strongest and the most likely time to burn.

Another rule of thumb - if your shadow is shorter than you are, then the sunlight is too strong and you can burn.

If you must be out of doors, wear something protective such as light-colored, long clothing and a wide-trimmed hat to shield as much sunlight as possible.

Liberally apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF - or Sun Protection Factor - of 30. Reapply often, especially when sweating or swimming.

Remember that sun protection is needed here in the sunny South on a daily basis, even when heading out for your regular day's work or chores. We actually obtain most sun exposure going to and from work, shopping, and even riding in the car where the sun's rays cut right through the glass of our windows and windshields.

Did you know that sunlight can begin to burn unprotected skin in less than five minutes? Statistics indicate that people who blister due to sunburn will have two to three times a higher risk of getting skin cancer than the general population. Both occasional heavy exposure and mild chronic exposure can cause skin issues. Generally, skin cancer is seen for the first time many years after we are exposed to too much sunlight, so careful protection is the key. Half of the total lifetime exposure for an individual is received before the age of eighteen. Special care is needed for children – prevent future skin related problems by making sure they are well protected with the proper clothing and sunscreen.

Finally, keep in mind that the sun's ultraviolet rays exist not just in the summer, or only on hot days. In winter and early spring, you generally don't feel the sun's heat when exposed, but the UV rays are there - you are at risk for sun over-exposure everyday.

Jackielyn Turner is the owner of Beautiful Expression Skincare Studio in Downtown Melbourne. For information and appointments call 321-728-3223.

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