Insightsthe blog of Porter Hills
Sun Safety: Protecting Your Skin
Clinical Manager, Therapy
As I began doing some research about skin cancer in the last couple of weeks, I was amazed at how many things about it I didn’t know.
- It is the most common form of cancer. 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Yet, for decades, tanned skin was promoted as a beautiful thing. It was in every form of media. Lately, there is a push to promote ivory-skinned models and actresses, but this has been slow to catch popularity with the younger crowd, who are usually already putting themselves at risk with utilizing tanning salons, and hanging for days at the beach.
- Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. By following simple tips, you can dramatically cut your risk of developing it. Unlike preventing other cancers, skin cancer prevention involves clothing, hats, sunscreen, avoiding peak hours, and self-examination, rather than dramatic diet change or lifestyle change.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outdoors, and prior to going to the beach, to allow the product to bind to your skin (I had been doing this wrong for my entire life).
- Sunglasses are just as important as sunscreen, and they need to be good sunglasses. They should filter out 99 to 100% of the UV radiation. So long $10 sunglasses (but so worth it).
- Sun protective clothing can provide immense protection from the sun. A garment with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 30 will allow just 1/30th of the sun’s UV radiation to penetrate the cloth. That is amazing technology!
On a recent trip to the beach, because Michigan is a beach-filled state, I did notice an amazing increase in the amount of beach umbrellas, and baby sun-tents and the like. It was truly impressive. Remember decades ago when anyone with an umbrella at the beach was all but scorned? However, not all beach umbrellas are created equally. The most effective ones provide a minimum UPF 30.
While researching this topic, I learned that it is time to embrace protecting myself from the harmful effects of the sun. Taking a couple minutes to think about prevention can save you from a lifetime of possible medical treatments.
For more information on skin cancer prevention and detection visit our blog by Wellness Director, Maegan Garlock: Sun and Seniors: Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection