Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Likewise, the brand of sunscreen my dermatologist recommends for me.

What is your sun risk Factor?

Do you know your sun exposure risk factor, based on your skin type? The American Academy of Dermatology divides skin tones into six types. Each skin type is beautiful, but each carries with it its own particular risk factor for damage/cancer due to sun exposure.

The skin types are as follows:

Type I – Extremely High Risk

People with skin type I do not tan whatsoever. They burn easily. Their skin is extremely sensitive to the sun. They have very fair white skin, and usually have light (blond or red) hair and light eyes, as well.

Skin Type II – Very High Risk

People with skin type II skin burn easily, but they can, with great difficulty, achieve a very light tan after repeated sun exposure. Their skin is highly sensitive to the sun. Like Type I, they have fair skin and eyes and hair that are on the lighter, rather than darker, side.

Skin Type III – High Risk

People with skin type III sometimes burn, but normally tan to a light, all-over brown when in the sun. Their skin is sensitive to the sun. They may have white to olive skin tones. This group is the largest skin risk factor group in the U. S.

Skin Type IV – Moderate Risk

People with skin type IV will quickly tan to a moderate brown. They may sunburn, but minimally. They may have olive to light brown skin.

Skin Type V – Low Risk

People with skin type V will find that they seldom get a sunburn and that they tan easily and deeply in the sun. They may have light to fairly dark brown skin.

Skin Type VI – Minimal Risk

People with skin type VI have deep skin tones. In the sun, they hardly ever burn, if ever. People in this category generally have dark black or very dark brown skin.

Types IV, V, and especially VI (lucky you!) generally show aging of the skin later than Types I, II, and III. There are skin cancers in these lower risk groups, but the frequency of occurrence is lower than for the higher risk groups. Even though your risk of skin damage and skin cancer is lower, it is still an important risk, nonetheless. The American Academy of Dermatologist recommends that everyone, even those with skin that seems impervious to the sun, wear a sunscreen with a SPF of 30. We all need to protect our skins, for skin is the largest organ in our bodies and is essential to our health and well-being.

I think I'm risk factor Type II. I think my husband is Type III, maybe IV, and my children are Type I and Type II. Which type are you? How about your spouse? Children? If you'd like to know more, ask your physician.


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.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A heart from God...

This morning, my husband and I walked down to the beach. As we enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings, we also shared with each other things that we have been learning from God recently.

Just as we got to the water's edge, I glanced down and saw a heart shaped rock that the ocean had thrown back up onto the beach. I know that could have been purely coincidence. In the moment, however, it seemed like a gift from God, and I like to think that is what it was. Just a little further, I found another similarly shaped rock.

An acquaintance of ours shared that when he passes spiritual milestones or comes to a decision of repentance and growth in some area, he will write the date on a rock and keep it as a remembrance. I think I shall keep these rocks to commemorate this lovely time, as well as to remind me of some spiritual goals that I have.

My husband teased me by saying, "You don't want a heart of stone, do you?" That reminded me of the wonderful promises in the book of Ezekiel concerning our hearts. God promises to remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh, to give us undivided hearts, to give us a new spirit in our hearts, and to move us to keep his ways. I love God's promises and the fact that He is always faithful to his promises.

I also love spending time with my husband. Next month, we will celebrate our 31st anniversary! It's hard to believe how fast the years have flown. I love that my husband still seeks God with all of his heart, which is a quality which drew me to him in the first place. I also love that we can share with each other the things that the Lord is putting on our hearts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Did you grow up on Dr. Seuss, as I did? As a child, I loved it when my parents read his books to me, and I was especially delighted when my father used food coloring to concoct
for me "a dish if " Green Eggs and Ham".

Of course, I shared the books with my children when they were young. Recently, my son told me that, when he visited San Diego, he heard that Dr. Seuss had spent some time in Southern California and that many of his drawings were inspired by the local vegetation. Now, I am visiting Southern California, and I can see a resemblance between some of Dr. Seuss' characters and the many beautiful trees and plants around here.

This made me curious, so being the Internet nerd that I am, I turned to Wikipedia's article about Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). While the biography does note that Dr. Seuss lived in LaJolla for several years, it seems to indicate that his style was influenced more by his original boyhood home and surroundings in the mid west. Certainly, his career was well established by the time he moved to California, though some of his famous books were written in LaJolla.

What do you think? Have you lived in California or visited here? Do you think the vegetation could have been inspiration for his drawing style? Have you ever heard this? An inquiring mind wants to know....