Staying Safe in the Sun
Apr 11, 2011 10:21PM
Skin cancer is the number one form of cancer affecting Americans today. According to InteliHealth Consumer Information, "the amount of skin cancer has increased dramatically during the past two decades, mainly because of cumulative exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. If current trends continue, the National Cancer Institute warns, from 40 percent to 50 percent of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop at least one skin cancer."
There are two kinds of damaging ultraviolet rays that the sun emits: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB rays cause sunburn. UVA rays do not cause burns, but do penetrate the skin more deeply and can affect the cells on a molecular level causing wrinkles, sagging skin, and skin cancer.
The Skin Cancer Foundation (www.skincancer.org) recommends:
- Do not sunbathe.
- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 10am-4pm, the peak hours for harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- When outdoors, use sunscreens rated SPF 15 or higher (with UVA and UVB protection). Apply them liberally, uniformly, and frequently.
- When exposed to sunlight, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, broad-brimmed hats, and UV-protective sunglasses.
- Stay away from artificial tanning devices.
- Teach your children good sun protection habits at an early age.
- Examine your skin head to toe at least once every three months.
Bonnie Sundquist Rogers, RN, BSN, MBA is an Independent Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay, Inc. For more information call 321-255-2999, email pinksun(at)aol.com or visit www.marykay.com/pinksun .