Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Children, Wear your sunscreen...Did you hear me?

Every one of my children's four grandparents have had at least one incidence of skin cancer. Now, I have a few pre-cancers, as well as some benign, but not-so-fun sun damage on my skin. It pays to wear your sun block, I tell my children.

According to Women's Health Magazine, "UV radiation alters the actual DNA of your skin cells, causing lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and even cancer."

Of course, the sun is a God-given source of physical life and happiness for our planet. Unless we shun the day and only come out at night, we can hardly avoid the sun, nor would we want to! However, we can take precautions to keep the sun from damaging our skins.

In order to take wise precautions, we need to be aware of AMA, FDA, and dermatologist guidelines. Unless we are aware of current recommendations, we are likely to make some sunblock mistakes. For example, we might use too little (It takes a full ounce of sunscreen to protect a person wearing a swimsuit for the allotted time on the sunscreen bottle. That means an eight ounce bottle of sunscreen contains only approximately 8 applications of sunscreen for someone who is swimming or at the beach.) Likewise, we may fail to buy a broad spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both UVA and UVB radiation. (Sun blocks will soon be required to block both, but do not currently have to. Look for a sun block that does cover both types of radiation.) Or, we might put too much hope in a jar. A sunscreen cannot block all the sun's rays, and it is possible to get a burn or damage your skin by lingering too long in the sun, even while wearing sun block.

Here's an article by the University of San Francisco California School of Medicine which gives you all the information you need to purchase an effective sun block and to use it correctly.

Note: Some think that using sun block not only prevents future sun damage to the skin, but it may reverse sun damage you have already received, as well. Perhaps, this is because skin that is protected from immediate sun damage can turn its resources to healing past damage.


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