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MomTalk.com November 19, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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Summer Sun Screen Mistakes, Myths and Solutions


Spring sun and the approach of summer remind many of us to get diligent about applying sunscreen before heading outdoors. But is that enough to protect your skin this summer? More than 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society.


"Changes in the environment and popular misconceptions make it more important than ever to take steps that will minimize your exposure to cancer-causing UV rays," says Dr. Jessica Wu, resident dermatologist at EverydayHealth.com, the number 2 health destination online, and a clinical instructor in dermatology at USC Medical School. "May is national Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month and now is a good time to get educated about how to protect your skin from the sun."


Nearly half of all Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they're 65, according to the National Cancer Institute. Here are some common summer sun screen mistakes and myths ... and their solutions:


Mistake: Only applying sunscreen at the beach.
There are two types of Ultra-violet (UV) rays: UVBs, which cause sunburns and UVAs, which cause skin cancer. While UVB rays can't pass through glass, UVAs do and they're present year-round during daylight hours. You are exposed through the windshield on your drive to work, through the window in your office or when you go outside for lunch or to run errands.


What you can do: Remember to use sunscreen daily, not just on the weekends.


Make sunscreen a daily habit for your kids as well. "Sun exposure in childhood is closely linked to skin cancer risk," Dr. Wu says. "Research has shown that having more than five blistering sunburns in childhood will double your risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, later in life."


Myth: Believing a higher SPF guarantees a stronger sunscreen.
Actually, a sunscreen with SPF 30 only gives you 4 percent more UVB (sunburn) protection compared to SPF 15.To give you adequate protection, your sunscreen should also provide UVA protection.


What you can do: To protect yourself, learn to read labels. Look for a sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and ingredients like zinc, titanium, or Mexoryl, which protect you from UVA rays. If you know what ingredients to look for, you can find a good sunscreen on any budget.


Mistake: Going to a tanning salon to get a "base tan" thinking it will protect you from sun damage and skin cancer.
The "safe" tanning beds many tanning salons claim to offer use mainly UVA rays, and block out UVB (burning) rays. You won't burn, but you'll be getting a large dose of cancer-causing UVA rays. One study showed that people aged 35 or younger who used tanning beds regularly had eight times the risk of developing melanoma compared to those who never used tanning beds. Another study showed that women who used tanning beds at least once a month were 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer.


What you can do: Don't use tanning beds - ever. "There is no such thing as a safe tan, and tanning beds, because of the UVA rays they use, are particularly dangerous," says Dr. Wu.


Despite the risk, more people than ever - of all ages and both sexes - are using tanning beds. In fact, the number of Americans using tanning beds in the past decade has doubled. Some states have legislation to limit tanning bed use among minors.


Mistake: Not reapplying sunscreen.
With summer heat and humidity, sunscreen rubs off and sweats off; if you go in the pool or ocean, it washes off, leaving your skin unprotected.


What you can do: For optimal sun protection, remember to reapply sunscreen when you get out of the water and every three to four hours. If you're not able to wash your face and reapply your makeup in the middle of the day, try touching up with mineral powder (which has zinc, a natural sunscreen) or makeup that contains SPF to boost your sun protection.


Mistake: Forgetting to protect your eyes, ears and lips.
Ears and lips can sunburn quickly and a common sites for skin cancers.


What you can do: Be sure to apply sunscreen to your ears, especially if you have short hair or pull your hair back in a ponytail. Look for lip balm that contains SPF of at least 15. UV rays can cause cataracts, so be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, especially if you're out on the water, which can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays.


To learn more about how to protect your skin from the sun this summer, visit www.EverydayHealth.com.




Courtesy of ARAcontent



Categories: Children's Health, Feature Stories, Health & Wellness, Women's Health,

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