Health & Nutrition

Skin Cancer is on the rise

How should you know which sunscreen to choose? Is SPF 15 sufficient? Is SPF 30 twice as good? Would 60 be better? What about 100? Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays.  Yet despite the fact that this has become common knowledge, skin cancer is still becoming more frequent.  

We continue to buy sunscreens with a higher SPF because there is a common misconception that a higher SPF means more and better coverage. We keep getting burned because if we apply sunscreen with an SPF of 60 or even 90 in the morning, we believe we are covered for the rest of the day. Yet according to the American Academy of Dermatology website “A high-number SPF does not allow you to spend additional time outdoors without reapplication. All sunscreens should be applied approximately every two hours or according to time on the label, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.”

So don’t be fooled by well-worded claims of a sunscreen being water proof, sweat proof, or even fool proof. While studies show that regular and conscientious use of sunscreen prevents skin cancer, this means that it only works when it is reapplied as necessary. Anyone can get skin cancer, which means men, women and children, and people both dark-skinned and light skinned. Any part of the body can get skin cancer as well.

Sunscreen should be applied daily to any part of the body that will not be covered by your clothes, and that includes using a lip balm to protect your lips. In order to be fully absorbed into your skin, it needs to be applied 15 minutes before leaving the house. That mean’s when you head out the door, you need to take your sunscreen with you, and reapply it regularly.

So stay safe, stay covered, and have fun in the sun.  
 
 

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