Sunday, June 9, 2013

Safe Fun in the Sun

With skin cancer on the rise, it’s hard not to worry about getting too much sun. Here are some pointers to have fun in the sun while protecting your skin.

*Take to the shade as often as possible. (This is especially true for children.) From 10am to 4pm the sun’s rays are the strongest.

  *Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, you need to slather on sunscreen. (This is especially true for children.) An SPF of 15 or higher is recommended. Look for one that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients block both UVA and UVB rays.

*Sun damage continues to occur throughout life, although recent information suggests less than 50% of sun damage happens before a person is 18. So important for children to wear sunscreen!

*Apply lotion at least 15 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply every 2 hours.

*To protect your head and face wear a hat. With a 4 inch brim, it will protect your ears, face and neck.

*Protect your lips! Very few people think of putting sun protection there. Use a lip balm with an SPF of 15. (An SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than an SPF of 15; an SPF of 30 has only 2% more protection than an SPF of 15, and a 40 has only 1% more than a 30.) Reapply often. If you wear gloss or lipstick put it on over the lip balm.

*Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not have to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells. Self-tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin.

*Scientists are suggesting that drinking 3 cups of green tea daily and adding turmeric in your cooking may provide some protection from skin cancer.

*Check your skin once a month for changes or new growths. (It is recommended that for adequate Vit. D levels we need 10-15 minutes of sunshine on our arms and legs without sunscreen-- two or three times a week)

Here in MN we've only had about 15 days of sunshine since March! We are SO ready to be able to slather on sunscreen and get outside to play!!

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