A golden, tanned skin is both attractive and healthy as spending enough time in the sun helps with vitamin D concentrations and calcium fixation. However, there are other sides to every good story. Fun in the sun should be safe and prolonged exposure to UV light may increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
It’s therefore paramount that you remember to always bring sun screen, a hat and perhaps, an umbrella along for your Sunday beach adventure.
Sun exposure leads to a golden complexion, yes, but it also causes accelerated aging. Women who properly protect their skin from UV light may have the complexion of girls half their age. So is there a perfect recipe when picking out sun screen?
The market is flooded with a multitude of sunblock and sunscreen options, however, most of these products only protect your skin from 7 percent of the sun’s rays. Dermatologists explain that your skin is affected greatly by cancer-causing rays, of which Infrared A constitute 30 percent.
One of the foremost effects of ultraviolet light is elastin damage. Elastin fibers break down and in time, your skin becomes saggy and stretchy.
“You can protect against four times of the sun’s damaging rays with Infrared-A protection,” Dr. Hextall, consultant dermatologist explains.
But there are graver issues looming and they involve skin cancers. Yearly, in the US alone, over 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Dermatologists the world over are debating whether the apparent epidemic of skin cancers isn’t only reflective of the better diagnosis measures applied in recent years. Skin cancer screening, Dr. Earl Glusac explains, may account for the increase in cases over the past several decades.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas affect the outermost layers of the skin, especially those which have been exposed frequently to UV light (ears, nose, face, lips, hands or backs). Though these cancers rarely spread or metastasize to other parts of the body, they spread over larger areas and tend to be destructive. Normally, they are curable if diagnosed early enough.
“Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common and 90 percent of the cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.”
Melanoma, on the other hand, starts in the skin’s pigment producing cells (melanocytes). This type of cancer doesn’t necessarily occur on sun-exposed areas and may even appear in other parts of the body (such as the nails, the mouth or the eyes).
When diagnosed early enough, melanoma is curable, however, this type of cancer tends to metastasize early and become hard to treat the longer a patient waits to seek medical attention.
So whenever you plan on a weekend beach party, remember to reduce your risk factors to a minimum. Try to limit your exposure to sunlight by seeking to lie in the shade and avoid tanning beds and sun lamps at all costs. If your complexion is fare, avoid sunburns and use sunblock or sunscreen with high SPF (50+).
Cover up with clothing and use large hats whenever possible. Remember that even on cloudy days, UV light still reaches our skin so even then, use the proper protection.
Image Source: UC Health